Cultures at War: The Cold War and Cultural Expression in Southeast Asia 9781501721205

Contributors:Francisco B. Benitez, University of Washington; Bo Bo, Burmese writer (SOAS, University of London); Michael

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Cultures at War: The Cold War and Cultural Expression in Southeast Asia
 9781501721205

Table of contents :
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Acknowledgments
Cultures at War in Cold War Southeast Asia: An Introduction
Filming Philippine Modernity during the Cold War: The Case of Lamberto Avellana
Modern Drama, Politics, and the Postcolonial Aesthetics of Left-Nationalism in North Sumatra: The Forgotten Theater of Indonesia's Lekra, 1955-65
Saigonese Art during the War: Modernity versus Ideology
Cold War Rhetoric and the Body: Physical Cultures in Early Socialist Laos
Still Stuck in the Mud: Imagining World Literature during the Cold War in Indonesia and Vietnam
Raising Xenophobic Socialism against a Communist Threat: Re-reading the Lines of an Army Propaganda Magazine in 1950s Burma
The Man with the Golden Gauntlets: Mit Chaibancha's Insi thorng and the Hybridization of Red and Yellow Perils in Thai Cold War Action Cinema
Festival Politics: Singapore's 1963 South-East Asia Cultural Festival
Filling in the Gaps of History: Independent Documentaries Re-Present the Malayan Left
Recalling and Representing Cold War Conflict and its Aftermath in Contemporary Indonesian Film and Theatre
Contributors

Citation preview

Cultur es at War

Cornell University

Tony Day and Maya H. T. Liem, editors

Cultures at War The Cold War and Cultural Expression in Southeast Asia

SouTHEAST AsiA PROGRAM PuBLICATIONS

Southeast Asia Program Cornell University Ithaca, New York 2010

~--------1'~1--------~

Editorial Board Benedict R. O'G. Anderson Anne Blackburn Thak Chaloemtiarana Tamara Loos Keith Taylor Marina Welker Andrew C. Willford Cornell Southeast Asia Program Publications 640 Stewart A venue, Ithaca, NY 14850-3857 Studies on Southeast Asia No. 51

© 2010 Cornell Southeast Asia Program All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations in a review, no part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Cornell Southeast Asia Program. Printed in the United States of America ISBN: he 978-087727-781-1 ISBN: pb 978-087727-751-4

Cover Design: Front cover designed by Jonah Foran; composite cover designed by Kat Dalton Cover Image: From the promotional poster for Awasan insi daeng (The Fall of the Red Eagle, 1963)

TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgments Cultures at War in Cold War Southeast Asia: An Introduction Tony Day

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Filming Philippine Modernity during the Cold War: The Case of Lamberto A vellana Francisco Benitez

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Modern Drama, Politics, and the Postcolonial Aesthetics of Left-Nationalism in North Sumatra: The Forgotten Theater of Indonesia's Lekra, 1955-65 Michael Bodden

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Saigonese Art during the War: Modernity versus Ideology Boitran Huynh- Beattie

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Cold War Rhetoric and the Body: Physical Cultures in Early Socialist Laos Simon Creak

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Still Stuck in the Mud: Imagining World Literature during the Cold War in Indonesia and Vietnam Tony Day

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Raising Xenophobic Socialism against a Communist Threat: Re-reading the Lines of an Army Propaganda Magazine in 1950s Burma Bo Bo

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The Man with the Golden Gauntlets: Mit Chaibancha's Insi thorng and the Hybridization of Red and Yellow Perils in Thai Cold War Action Cinema Rachel V. Harrison

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Festival Politics: Singapore's 1963 South-East Asia Cultural Festival Jennifer Lindsay

227

Filling in the Gaps of History: Independent Documentaries Re-Present the Malayan Left Gaik Cheng Khoo

247

Recalling and Representing Cold War Conflict and its Aftermath in Contemporary Indonesian Film and Theatre Barbara Hatley

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Contributors

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The idea for this book arose out of stimulating discussions during the panel "Arts, Globalization, and Political Landslides in Asia: Internal Dynamics and International Comparisons," which was held at the Fifth International Conference for Asian Studies (ICAS5) in Kuala Lumpur, August 2-5, 2007. We want to thank Dianne van Oosterhout, co-convener with Maya Liem of the panel, for her valuable ideas and help in organizing the session, as well as Michael Bodden, Nora Taylor, Barbara Hatley, Jennifer Lindsay, Pam Allen, and members of the audience who participated with us in it. Once we had decided to expand the original focus on Indonesia to include as much of Southeast Asia and as many different forms of Cold War cultural expression as we could, Anna Allott, David Chandler, Michael Charney, Chris Goscha, Ward Keeler, Gaik Cheng Khoo, Vatthana Pholsena, and Tuong Vu helped us to find new contributors and themes for the book. We are also grateful to Penny Edwards, who drew our attention to Ingrid Muan's important work on our subject, and to Jane Ferguson for their interest and advice. To Jennifer Lindsay we are indebted for her encouragement and the stimulation provided by the project "Lost Legacy: Indonesia's Cultural History 1950-65," which she and Maya Liem led during 2009-10 and in which Tony Day also participated. Many thanks also go to Rachel Harrison for acquiring permission from Saha-phanthamit Sound and Film to use their depiction of the "Red Eagle" in action for our book cover and to Jonah Foran for his spectacular design. Without the patient expertise of editors Deborah Hamsher and Fred Conner of SEAP Publications, we would still be struggling with a plethora of stylistic and formatting dilemmas. On behalf of the contributors, we offer them our heartfelt thanks, but assume full responsibility for any and all errors that may remain. Tony Day and Maya Liem New Haven and Bilthoven April 9, 2010

CULTURES AT WAR IN COLD WAR SOUTHEAST ASIA: AN INTRODUCTION Tony Day*

George Orwell coined the neologism "Cold War" in a 1945 newspaper article, "You and the Atomic Bomb," in which he criticized both the United States and the Soviet Union for "'robbing the exploited classes and peoples of all power to revolt ... [and] ruling the world between them."' 1 At the end of World War II, the two atomic superpowers had both emerged victorious and so became natural rivals for hegemony in the postwar world. That rivalry turned into a "cold war" (a term used by the Americans but not the Russians until the 1980s) because of American fear that the spread of communism and its "alternative form of modernity" would threaten US security and the American mission to reform the world according to its own theories of capitalist modernization. 2 While nuclear stalemate and the worldwide competition for influence between the two superpowers persisted from 1945 to 1991, when the Cold War officially ended, Southeast Asia became the battleground for a number of very "hot" conflicts as the United States shifted its policy of "aggressive I want to extend my warmest thanks to my co-editor, Maya Licm, who was one of the organizers of the panel, "Arts, Globalization, and Political Landslides in Asia: Internal Dynamics and International Comparisons," which was held at the Fifth International Conference for Asian Studies (ICAS5) in Kuala Lumpur, August 2-5, 2007. The idea for a collection of essays on the Cold War and cultural expression in Southeast Asia, as well as several of the chapters in our book, began to take shape during that stimulating panel. Maya invited me to join her in expanding the scope of the original project and turn it into a book. Her suggestions and support during the writing of the introduction have been invaluable. 1 Quoted in Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007), p. 2. 2 Ibid., pp. 25, 33. Of the two superpowers, the United States was in a far stronger economic and military position to dominate global developments at the end of World War II, but "the depression and the war left the United States feeling vulnerable and uncertain. Consequently, American officials entered the postwar era thinking more expansively than ever before about their nation's security requirements." See David S. Painter· and Melvyn P. Leffler, "Introduction: The International System and the Origins of the Cold War," in Origins of the Cold War: An International History, ed. Melvyn P. Leffler and David S. Painter (London and New York, NY: Routledge, 2005 [1994]), p. 3. *

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containment without a state of war" 3 to one of direct involvement in military attempts to contain and destroy revolutionary communism, as well as what Michael Bodden, in his contribution to this volume, calls "left-nationalism." In Southeast Asia, the Cold War lasted from 1948 to the late 1970s, 4 but as two of the essays in this collection demonstrate and others suggest, the war has still not ended in the minds of post-Cold War Southeast Asian generations who seek to understand the nature and extent of the Cold War's destructive impact on their societies. There are also many Southeast Asians who want to rediscover the untraveled roads to potential social well-being that were blocked as a result of that era's conflicts and occlusions. 5 Recent scholarship on the Cold War in Southeast Asia stresses the many-faceted nature of the conflict, which was driven by regional historical imperatives as much as by global forces. Karl Hack and Geoff Wade argue that the '"Southeast Asian Cold War' was constituted by local forces drawing on outside actors for their own ideological and material purposes, more than by great powers seeking local allies and proxy theatres of conflict .... " 6 Odd Westad, Christopher Goscha, and Christian Ostermann demonstrate the continuous interaction between regional decolonization and global Cold War superpower rivalry. 7 The interest in Southeast Asian postcolonial nationalism, and in the agency of local Southeast Asians as "shapers of the international system in the Cold War era,'' 8 expressed in these and other scholarly works also extends to culture as one of the major battlegrounds of Cold War ideological conflict. 9 Westad, The Global Cold War, p. 2. For discussions of 1948 and the late 1970s as starting and ending points of the Cold War in Southeast Asia, see Karl Hack and Geoff Wade, "The Origins of the Southeast Asian Cold War," Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 40,3 (2009): 441-48; and Benedict Anderson, "Sauve Qui Peut," in Benedict Anderson, The Spectre of Comparisons: Nationalism, Southeast Asia, and the World (London and New York, NY: Verso, 1998), pp. 299-317, esp. p. 308. 5 For an excellent collection of essays that responds to the contemporary demand for more knowledge about possible alternatives to existing Cold War political and cultural outcomes, see Michael D. Barr and Carl A. Trocki, ed., Paths Not Taken: Political Pluralism in Post-War Singapore (Singapore: NUS Press, 2008). 6 Hack and Wade, "The Origins," p. 443. 7 Westad, The Global Cold War, p. 5; Christopher E. Goscha and Christian F. Ostermann, "Introduction: Connecting Decolonization and the Cold War in Southeast Asia," in Connecting Histories: Decolonization and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, 1945-1962, ed. Christopher E. Goscha and Christian F. Ostermann (Washington, DC, and Stanford, CA: Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Stanford University Press, 2009), pp. 1-12. 8 Goscha and Ostermann, "Introduction," p. 9. 9 For studies of U Nu's play "The People Win Through," Indonesian Islamic reactions to communism during the Cold War, and "civilization, culture, and the Cold War in the foreign policy of Ngo Dinh Diem," see the essays by Michael W. Charney, Remy Madinier, and Edward Miller, respectively, in Goscha and Ostermann, Connecting Histories, pp. 335-402. See also Tuong Vu and Wasana Wongsurawat, eds., Dynamics of the Cold War in Asia: Ideology, Identity, and Culture (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), which contains fascinating discussions of cultural aspects of the Cold War in Southeast Asia. For a lively and polemical declaration of the need for East-West comparative study of cultural expression during the Cold War, see Patrick Major and Rana Mitter, "East is East and West is West? Towards a Comparative Socio-Cultural History of the Cold War," Cold War History 4,1 (October 2003): 122, as well as their assessment of studies of "the cultural cold war" and "cold war culture" (two categories examined in Jennifer Lindsay's contribution to this book), in which the dearth of research on the Third World is noted: Patrick Major and Rana Mitter, "Culture," in Palgrave

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The essays in this book offer the most detailed and probing examination to date of the cultural dimension of the Cold War in Southeast Asia. Cultural expression in this period was primarily shaped by the long-standing search by Southeast Asians, begun in the colonial period, for national identity, modernity, and independence. It was also strongly influenced by the international context in which this search took place after 1945, by the global rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union, with a third power, the People's Republic of China (PRC), emerging onto the scene in 1949 as a major Cold War contender for influence over Southeast Asian political and cultural affairs. Unlike the writings on Southeast Asian culture that appear in the most recent publications on the Cold War in Southeast Asia, however, the essays in this book provide a vivid sense of the creative energy and cultural originality of the early years of postwar independence. Common to all of the studies in this collection is an effort not just to explain, but to break with the "Zhdanovism" 10 commonly found in approaches to cultural expression in Southeast Asia during the Cold War, in which the politics of Left and Right are presented as deterministically polar rather than as openly dialectical or dialogical opposites driving cultural debate. 11 The meanings of words such as "communist," "cosmopolitan," "nationalistic," or "modern" that were used to describe cultural processes during the Cold War in Southeast Asia were being constantly debated and explored. It is the dialogic nature of culture during the Cold War that interests the authors in this volume, as well as the multiple possibilities for the future of Southeast Asia that were being imagined by means of cultural debate. With the exception of Jennifer Lindsay's chapter, the essays in this book make only tangential reference to the "cultural cold war" as it was waged in Southeast Asia by various states or the covert agencies of both blocs, a subject about which very little has been written. 12 Instead, these chapters analyze in detail the ways in which art, literature, theater, film, Advances in Cold War History, ed. Saki R. Dockrill and Geraint Hughes (Basingstoke and New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), pp. 240-62. 10 Andrei Alexandrovich Zhdanov (1896-1948), whose speech "Soviet Literature-The Richest in Ideas, the Most Advanced Literature," presented to the first All-Union Congress of Soviet Writers in 1934, helped formulate the concept of "socialist realism," was put in charge of Soviet cultural policy in 1946. Zhdanov's "two-camp line" divided the world into "two camps-the imperialist, headed by the United States, and the democratic, headed by the Soviet Union" and predicted the inevitability of conflict between them. See Hack and Wade, "The Origins," p. 442. For more on Zhdanov and Soviet Cold War policy on art, compared to the situation and practices of artists in the US, see the entry on "art" in Richard A. Schwartz, Cold War Culture: Media and the Arts, 1945-1990 (New York, NY: Checkmark Books, 2000), pp. 1720. Schwartz makes clear that American artists and writers were subjected to a similarly oppressive, if indirect, form of state control. During the Cold War, US artists and writers were "politically and economically marginalized," tolerated because they were perceived as "largely irrelevant" to the political process, and pressured to address issues in "the more private sphere ... as the only area in which individuals were able to exert a meaningful influence." Ibid., pp. 18, 176. 11 This tendency in interpretation is a natural consequence of the fact noted by Westad that "the Cold War was bipolar to the point of exclusivity." Westad, The Global Cold War, p. 89. 12 See Marc Frey, "Tools of Empire: Persuasion and the United States' Modernizing Mission in Southeast Asia," Diplomatic History, 27,4 (September 2003): 543--68; and Ingrid Muan, "Playing with Powers: The Politics of Art in Newly Independent Cambodia," Udaya: Journal of Khmer Studies 6 (2005): 41-56. Muan's essay will be discussed below. The classic study of American Cold War cultural policy in Europe is Frances Stonor Saunders, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA a11d the World of Arts and Letters (New York, NY: The New Press, 2000).

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festival, physical culture, and the popular press expressed not only Southeast Asian responses to Cold War ideologies and political pressures, but also ideas that had very little to do with the Cold War as it was being promoted in Washington, Moscow, or Beijing. The examples of Southeast Asian cultural expression examined here involved various solutions to the culhtral dilemmas of the newly independent nation-states of the region. All of these solutions were responses to social and aesthetic concerns that antedated, outlasted, and never became entirely aligned with the ideologies of either bloc. 13 Francisco Benitez opens the discussion with an analysis of three films made during the years 1953 to 1957 and directed by Lamberto Avellana (1915-91), an Ateneo de Manila-educated film and theater director who won the award for best film at the 1956 Asia-Pacific Film Festival. With close attention to the medium and techniques used by the filmmaker to communicate to his audiences, Benitez argues that Avellana sought to create "a coherent Filipino citizen subject" on the screen during a period of social upheaval in which Huk communist insurgents, the Filipino political elite, and powerful US interests and agents contested with one another over the definition of being "Filipino." Although Avellana worked closely with the United States Information Service (USIS) and the notorious American CIA agent Edward Lansdale to produce pro-American documentaries and feature films, he presented the Huks on screen as "Filipino men of action united in a common cause," even though they opposed the ideals of liberal democracy espoused by A vellana himself. Avellana used USIS-inspired documentary and melodrama techniques to heighten the realty of his depictions of the struggle by ordinary Filipinos to become members of a "liberal agrarian" or urban bourgeoisie. By means of fixed-camera shots, Avellana made his fictional heroes into life-like subjects of documentary-like movies that recorded attempts to "recreate the Filipino way of life after the trauma of war." Avellana's real heroes were ordinary Filipinos, stripped of their foreign allegiances and dependence on money. On screen, Avellana clothed his characters in an indigenous "aura of facticity" as they sought to recover traditional values, demand a state responsive to its citizens, and assume a modern identity in an unstable postcolonial Cold War environment. By means of various film techniques, Avellana localized the Cold War content of his films, foregrounding the "ordinary quotidian vitality" of the Philippines and placing his characters in control of their own individual destinies. Yet, as Benitez demonstrates in his analysis of the ethnonationalistic, award-winning film Badjao, about a romance between a Badjao (Sea Gypsy) boy and a Tausug girl, the Filipino national subjects of Avellana's films tended to become embodiments of a timeless universal humanism, as defined by (American) liberalism. In contrast to Filipino modern art, which provided a "leftist critique of imperialism," the medium of film, in Benitez's view, acted as a "liberal, n For an interesting collection of essays in which the influence of the Cold War on the United States is debated, see Peter J. Kuznick and James Gilbert, Rethinking Cold War Culture (London and Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001). Kuznick and Gilbert's summarizing comment (page 11) is pertinent to Southeast Asia: "We take strong issue with those observers who have found the Cold War to be responsible for every change and cultural distortion occurring during these years ... [The Cold War] persuaded millions of Americans to interpret their world in terms of insidious enemies at home and abroad who threatened them with nuclear and other forms of annihilation. Seeing the world through this dark, distorting lens and setting global and domestic policies to counter these fanciful as well as real threats was and is ... the largest impact of the Cold War."

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nationalist, pedagogical machine" for the production of "particularly Filipino, perceptive, autonomous, law-abiding" citizen-subjects. Yet Avellana's Filipinos were also resistant to becoming docile subjects of the American Cold War imperium. Benitez draws on Jonathan Beller's argument about the Filipino painter H. R. Ocampo's abstract art and applies it to Avellana's abstract humanism: Avellana's films were both a critique and rejection of the dilemma facing Filipinos in the 1950s of having to choose between undesirable alternatives for becoming "Filipino" according to communist, cacique, or American definitions of that term. Beyond universal humanism, to which Avellana's screen characters laid claim, there lay a "deferred future," a distant shore of authentic, everyday Filipino nationhood that was anticipated in the "reality in-depth" of Avellana's mise-en-scime. 14 In Indonesia, covert American assistance for the overthrow of Sukamo' s Leftnationalist government, followed by the massacre of hundreds of thousands of alleged communists and the imprisonment of thousands more, occurred a decade after the defeat of the Huk insurgency. Michael Bodden sketches the history and impact of American anticommunist intrigue in Indonesia from 1948 to 1965 in order to show that successive US governments profoundly misunderstood the significance of Sukarno, the nature of his power, and the meaning of the ever intensifying political debate in Indonesia during the 1950s and early 1960s. "Sukarno' s strong belief in the importance of national unity, national character, and anti-imperialism ... made it inevitable that battles among the antagonistic camps within Indonesian politics were often contests to see who could proclaim their nationalist credentials most loudly and prove them most obviously," Bodden writes. Yet, by 1963-64, the entire Indonesian political system at the national level had become polarized along Cold War lines, a polarization that reflected Indonesia's engagement with the PRC, the influence of American anticommunist propaganda, as well as local political rivalries. It is the post-1965 legacy of this Cold War polarization, the effects of which are still present in Indonesia today/ 5 that Bodden seeks to expose as a misrepresentation of Indonesia's past by painstakingly piecing together, through interviews and newspaper accounts, the history of leftist theater groups and performances in North Sumatra during the decade 1955-65. Bodden's choice of the site for his investigation is not adventitious. By shifting the spotlight on cultural expression away from Java to the multiethnic world of Indonesia's largest "outer island," where a serious CIA-aided regional rebellion took place in 1958, Bodden sets up a perfect test case for his thesis that in areas distant from the modern cities and the stifling cultural heritage of Java, leftist Indonesian 14 See Jonathan Beller, Acquiring Eyes: Philippines Visuality, Nationalist Struggle, and the WorldMedia System (Manila: Ateneo de Manila University Press), p. 94: "In the conjuncture specified by the Second World War and the period immediately following, both in the Philippines as well as elsewhere, only in a place outside of existing narrative constraints and beyond logical history could freedom be posited." 15 On December 23, 2009, the Indonesian High Court issued a ban on the Indonesian translation of John Roosa's Pretext for Mass Murder: The September 30"' Movement and Suharto's Coup d'Etat in Indonesia (Madison, WI, and London: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2006), as well as several published collections of left-wing short stories and poetry from the period 1950-65 edited by Rhoma Dwi Aria Yuliantri and Muhidin M. Dahlan, on the grounds that these works "disturb the public order" (mengganggu ketertiban umum). See Hilmar Farid, "Censorship Makes a Comeback: Recent Book Bannings Mark a Return to the Repressive Practices of the New Order," Inside Indonesia 99 Oanuary-March 2010), accessed online at: www.insideindonesia.org.

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theater practitioners crafted theater forms that drew on traditional, regional, as well as modern Western techniques to stage performances that appealed to multiethnic audiences of "Indonesians" across a wide political spectrum. All the plays and performances Bodden examines were "vitally concerned with defending the nation, creating a specifically Indonesian national culture, or propagating ideas of democracy and rights not entirely unfamiliar to Western liberal democracies." In his detailed mapping of theater groups and performances across the landscape of North Sumatra, Bodden finds that even in 1964, at the height of the Cold War polarization of Left and Right in Java, "the lines of division" in North Sumatra "were not always as clearly drawn as they appeared to be at the national level." Like Avellana, North Sumatran theater practitioners of the 1950s made it possible for their audiences to imagine a tolerant and multiethnic "nation" of the future. Engaged in a similar game of "'catch-up' with the West while aspiring to evade its shadow," the modern Saigon artists discussed in Boitran Huynh-Beattie's essay had to create their art while an intensifying war raged around them and an American army occupied their land. Since the Cold War had split Vietnam in two, with the South still "half-colonial" because of the persistence of French cultural influences from the past and the daily reminders of American ones in the present, even as the North was held in the grip of Chinese Maoist communist ideas that dominated both politics and the arts, the future establishment of an independent nation was even harder to imagine in Vietnam than it was in either the Philippines or Indonesia. Yet Saigon's artists were as adept at negotiating their way past the treacherous politics of the era as were the newsboys witnessed by Huynh-Beattie's own father in the 1950s, who outraced the police to hawk soon-to-be-confiscated issues of Saigon's forty-four daily papers. Despite the war, the American occupation, and continual political crisis, Saigon artists lived in a cultural climate notable for its political diversity and cultural cosmopolitanism. Given the situation of their wartorn nation, it is not surprising that these artists were "inclined toward new horizons" rather than any "particular 'Vietnamese' direction." The American presence, in fact, encouraged the pursuit of "art for art's sake" in Saigon by providing buyers for paintings and one more good reason for rejecting political influence over art in any form. Painting of traditional subjects was stimulated by the nostalgia for their homeland felt by Northern artists who had fled to the South, and such art expressed their rejection of communism. Southern painters also conveyed their longing for a long-lost homeland, even if that imagined community had been constantly ravaged by war. But at least in those now distant wars the Vietnamese had expelled the foreign invader! Other Saigon artists captured the ambivalent political loyalties felt by Southerners of the day; practicing "art for art's sake," they created paintings whose formal beauty could address that ambivalence and express the human pathos the image contained, without requiring the artist to choose sides. Western-bloc embassies were instrumental in stimulating Saigon's modernists, who adopted European techniques, rather than those of American abstract expressionism, 16 in order to represent the fragile and vulnerable beauty of the South In other words, Saigon modernists rejected the claim implicit in abstract expressionism that modern avant-garde art was, by definition, "purely American." See Serge Guilbaut, How New York Stole the Idea of Modem Art: Abstract Expressiollism, Freedom, and the Cold War (Chicago, IL, and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1983), pp. 200 and passim.

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in an abstract manner. As in the case of Lamberto A vellana or the leftist theater practitioners of 1950s North Sumatra, abstraction for these Saigon artists served the crucial function of invoking universal values as a way of imagining a future for their homeland, a future that might have to be indefinitely deferred but would never be forgotten. The published work of the late Ingrid Muan on modern Cambodian art adds further testimony to the themes of Huynh-Beattie's essay. 17 In "Haunted Scenes: Painting and History in Phnom Penh," for example, Muan describes how the controlling grip of the French colonial painter George Groslier over Khmer artists was loosened once independence was attained. At the command of King Sihanouk, and under instruction by a Japanese artist trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Tokyo, Khmer students were taught "no longer to copy a received ornamental tradition through the means of a standard grid. Instead, they were to observe and render what they saw around themselves, focusing on the transitory qualities of light and sha:de, and the immediacy of individual perception." 18 Piecing together the history of Cambodian art from the 1950s and 1960s, much of the documentation for which was lost during the Khmer Rouge period (1975-79) and is only retraceable by means of records kept by the United States Information Service/ 9 Muan records the progressive "congealing" of any Right-Left polarity in Cambodian artistic circles as time passed. Under the Khmer Rouge, and the Vietnamese after 1979, artists who were able to survive "adapted with a kind of chameleon-like facility" to the demand for socialist realist art. 20 In paintings from the 1990s, however, Muan finds "a perverse return to Groslier's notion of tradition and permissible change," which expressed, in her view, the absence of fundamental change at the level of the political elite over the decades of genocidal war and social upheaval since the end of the colonial period. 21 In another essay in which she directly addresses the impact of the Cold War on Cambodia, Muan describes how documentary films from both the American and Soviet blocs flooded the Cambodian countryside via roving "cinecars"; USIS magazines were put in the hands of 70,000 Cambodian readers by the late 1950s; traveling exhibitions promoted American sport and technological advances; and Marian Anderson, the Czechoslovakian Dance Troupe, and Russian Ballet all performed before Cambodian audiences.Z 2 But how this Cold War propaganda was 17 Ingrid Muan's PhD thesis on Cambodian art, "Citing Angkor: The 'Cambodian Arts' in the Age of Restoration, 1918-2000" (Columbia University, New York, NY, 2001) is currently being prepared for publication by Penny Edwards. Edwards had hoped to offer a chapter of Muan's dissertation for inclusion in the present volume, but was unable to secure the necessary permission to do so. Because of the importance of Muan's work on Cold War culture in Cambodia, the editors decided to include a discussion of some of her published work on the subject here. 18 Ingrid Muan, "Haunted Scenes: Painting and History in Phnom Penh," Udaya: Journal of Khmer Studies, 6 (2005): 22. 19 USlS sponsored exhibitions in Cambodia and training for Khmer artists such as Nhek Dim, who was first sent to the Philippines and later to Walt Disney Studios in the United States. See ibid., p. 24, and Ly Daravuth and Ingrid Muan, "Kon Kinner (Cambodian Cinema)," in Cultures of Independence: An Introduction to Cambodian Arts and Culture in the 1950s and 1960s, ed. Ly Daravuth and Ingrid Muan (Phnom Penh: Institute of Arts and Culture, 2001), p. 148. 20 Muan, "Haunted Scenes," p. 27. 21 Ibid., pp. 30-37. 22 Muan, "Playing with Powers," pp. 41-42.

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received is another question: "Whereas the Cold War read from its centers was a competition produced by the polarized aftermath of a war," Muan writes, "in peripheries like Cambodia, it was what followed colonialism, toning and tempering new-found independence." 23 The filmmaker Sun Bun Ly, for example, learned basic film techniques from USIS while serving with his US-trained police unit, was sent to the US for further training, then returned to Cambodia, resigned from the police, and established one of Cambodia's first commercial movie companies. 24 Similar stories abound for "many of the major players" in the Cambodian film industry and art world from this period. Having learned to make films, cartoons, and paintings using American techniques, Cambodian artists and filmmakers turned to traditional Khmer folklore for images with which to fashion a "self-consciously 'modern' yet explicitly 'Cambodian' visual art." 25 In the two essays by Ingrid Muan discussed above, Cold War Khmer artists are shown to have engaged in a process of self-decolonization without allowing themselves to be recolonized by a new set of Cold War masters. Simon Creak expands the meaning of "culture" beyond film, art, and theater in his analysis of a form of recolonization in Southeast Asia, that of the physical body in Laos after 1975. Asians had sought to free themselves physically from colonial control since the late nineteenth century. Applying ideas drawn from Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer, Asians called for the strengthening of bodies as well as the modernization of minds in the life-and-death struggle with Western imperialism. 26 Colonialists themselves joined in support of this campaign. French colonial authorities promoted sport and youth programs in Indochina during the far-Right Vichy period in France (1940-45), so that, to quote a Vichy governor of Indochina, Admiral Jean Decoux, "the true type of Indochinese man" could be born "after centuries of indifference to physical development." 27 The "true type of Indochinese man" emerged along clearly demarcated gender pathways, which he continued to follow once independence had been attained in 1954. "If the strength of human bodies emerged as a metaphor for national strength" in Laos, and in Indochina generally, Creak writes, "it was the male body that counted. Women's bodies stood for tradition." Delicately female embodiments of Vietnamese tradition, reflecting a similar gendered differentiation, can be seen in the Cold War Saigon paintings Summer Light by LeVan D~ and By the Ibid., pp. 43-44. Ibid., 48-49; and Ly Daravuth and Ingrid Muan, "Kon Khmer," p. 148. 25 Muan, "Playing with Powers," p. 51. 26 In his first published essay (1917), written at the age of twenty-four, Mao Zedong urged his Chinese readers to concentrate on building their bodies: "Exercise must be savage and rude. To be able to leap on horseback and to shoot at the same time; to go from battle to battle; to shake the mountains by one's cries, and the colors of the sky by one's roars ... " would enable them to defeat their Western imperialist enemies (quoted in Jonathan D. Spence, The Search for Modern China, 2nd ed. [New York, NY, and London: W. W. Norton and Company, 1990], p. 293). Mao was well-versed in the writings of Yan Fu (1854-1921), China's famous translator of Herbert Spencer and other Western authors whose works were relevant to China's "selfstrengthening" movement. Yan Fu wrote in 1898: "A nation is like a body (shen); the arteries and veins are linked together, the system of organs (guanti) helps each other. When the head is attacked, all four limbs respond; when the belly is stabbed, the whole body (ti) will perish" (quoted in Susan Brownell, Training the Body for China: Sports in the Moral Order of the People's Republic [Chicago, IL, and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1995], p. 44). 27 Quoted in Eric T. Jennings, Vichy in the Tropics: Petain's National Revolution in Madagascar, Guadeloupe, and Indochina, 1940-1944 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001), p. 188.

23

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Ocean by Nguy~n Trung, discussed by Huynh-Beattie. The effects of a lingering

colonial influence may also be present here, since the most important Vichy-era allmale schools for training the "true type of Indochinese man" were located in Pan Thiet, near Saigon. 28 Western Cold War warriors who arrived in Laos in the 1950s found the capital, Vientiane, to be impoverished and grubby, "a century away from Saigon," in the words of Graham Greene. 29 The Royal Lao Government made the case to the Americans that Laos was, in the words of a pamphlet by Prime Minister Katay from 1954, the "ideal cornerstone in the anti-Communist struggle in Southeast Asia." 30 In the 1960s and early 1970s, US aid and "modernizing propaganda" helped create a new urban elite, possessed of "a cosmopolitan outlook and confidence" that modernized the Lao language and debated social and political issues in the pages of the "vibrant daily press," as well as in literary journals. 31 The US presence also provoked the rejection by the Lao Patriotic Front of American popular culture, as US financial aid programs contributed to corruption. US funds, in any case, offered new incentives for Lao political and army leaders, who were regarded in Lao cultural terms as phu nyai, "big men," to embrace anti-communism in order to secure US dollars for their entourages, the primary markers of their prestige. 32 The "muted violence" 33 embodied in the rightist politician and phu nyai Phoumi Nosavan (192085)34 and other Lao males in the 1950s and 1960s would be disciplined and redirected to new social ends after the victory of the communists in 1975, who also swept away '"decadent' foreign influences." 35 Creak argues that revolutionary rhetoric was a principle instrument of the Lao People's Democratic Republic's attempt to fashion the "new socialist person," one who would have "great physical strength ... strong health ... knowledge and ability in various subjects ... revolutionary ideology and qualities ... ," in the words of the Central Committee of the Lao Patriotic Front in 1971, in a statement broadcast while it was still based in jungle caves in the northeast of the country. 36 When the communists seized power four years later, the rhetoric of physicality "developed Ibid., p. 191. Quoted in Grant Evans, A Short History of Laos (Crows Nest, NSW: Allen and Unwin, 2002), p. 97. Graham Greene's novel The Quiet American (1955), which was made into a film in 1958, criticized American foreign policy in Southeast Asia. The character Alden Pyle, an idealistic American CIA agent who kills innocent Vietnamese civilians in order to save Vietnam from communism, is based on CIA agent Edward Lansdale, who moved his base of operations from the Philippines to Saigon in 1953. 30 Evans, A Short History of Laos, p. 100. 31 Ibid., pp. 150-53. 32 Ibid., pp. 106, 112. 33 Ibid., p. 115, quoting from Hugh Toye, Laos: Buffer State or Battleground (London: Oxford University Press, 1968), p. 147. 34 For more on Phoumi Nosavan and his role in founding the National Games of 1961 and 1964 in Laos, see Simon Creak, "Sport and the Theatrics of Power in a Postcolonial State: The National Games of 1960s Laos," Asian Studies Review 34 (June 2010): 191-210. 28

29

35 Evans, A Short History, p. 156. The similarity of these qualities to the ideals set forth by Decoux in 1944 for the 600,000 Indochinese students who participated in Vichy physical training programs-"more virility, more elevation of hearts, more rectitude of conscience" (quoted in Jennings, Vichy in the Tropics, p. 191)-is striking.

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into a more structured theoretical framework," which was closely modeled on Vietnamese, rather than Chinese or Soviet, formulations of socialist ideas. 37 Education was the key to creating a new culture for the new socialist person. The body was an important element in the way "culture" would now be defined in Laos. 38 Kaysone Phomvihan, who was secretary-general of the Lao People's Party from 1955 to 1991 and prime minister from 1975 to 1991, used "strident language" in a speech in 1977 to attack what he called "the wicked poison of the ideology and culture of neocolonialism that the American imperialists and reactionaries introduced and propagated throughout" Laos. Kaysone's vocabulary in this and other statements argued for an abrasive physical and moral cleansing that morphed from speech into action when the party-state reformed the nation's sporting and other cultural activities. 39 The "new" sport was defined in nationalist as well as internationalist terms, for it preserved elements of the old whenever, as in the case of Lao boxing, these elements expressed the "national heritage." The glorification of sport and physical labor also extended now to women, who were no longer to be regarded as mere embodiments of Lao tradition, and to party leaders, who were expected to set good examples. Pictures of Kaysone exercising or playing table tennis are still displayed in public places throughout the country. The body, in short, was the central metaphor in the Lao socialist cosmology. Like prisoners in Lao reeducation camps, the Lao nation was a "weak, ill, or otherwise substandard body that could be ameliorated with the right attention." 40 To promote the amelioration of the nation's body, the state developed a national calisthenics program and taught physical education in Lao primary schools. More successful in the cities than the countryside, these measures reinforced socialist ideology, but also recycled principles that had been part of Lao culture since French colonial days. In general, though, notwithstanding the rigorous rhetoric on the subject, Lao physical culture in practice lacked "revolutionary effervescence." Yet even though efforts to establish a mass sport and physical culture movement fell short of expectations, the regime was successful in suppressing independent thinking "as the party became the thinker for the nation." 41 Many members of the Lao communist leadership had been educated in Vietnam or, like Kaysone Phomvihan, were bicultural through upbringing or marriage. See Evans, A Short History, pp. 188-91. 3" Vatthana Pholsena notes the longevity of this idea, which had its origins in traditional Lao culture, in her discussion of a school textbook titled "Lao Culture and Society," published in 1998. See Vatthana Pholsena, Post-War Laos: The Politics ofCulture, History, and Identity (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2006), pp. 58-66. "In this textbook, the body takes the central stage .... The body is strictly constrained through exhaustive codification ... " Ibid., p. 60. 39 Quoting the journalist John Everingham, who reported to The Far Eastern Economic Review on the situation in Laos in April 1976, Grant Evans notes how youths "were dragged in for haircuts and women admonished not to wear makeup. To listen to Thai radio stations was to risk being labeled 'reactionary,' as with playing western music." Evans, A Short History, p. 179. 40 Ex-prisoner Thongthip Rathanavilai recorded the following admonition, delivered in 1976, in his account of life in a Lao reeducation camp: "You have been brought here for your own good. If this was Cambodia, you would have already disappeared. You have been brought here to be cured and cleansed and to become new men. All of you have been leaders, but you are really ignorant. But whoever listens to us and reforms will be able to return home and become a good citizen." Quoted in Evans, A Short History, p. 182. 41 In both Laos and southern Vietnam, pre-socialist cultural traditions and tastes resurfaced during the 1990s. See Evans, A Short History, pp. 205-8. For southern Vietnam, see Philip Taylor, Fragments of the Present: Searching for Modernity in Vietnam's South (Crows Nest, NSW,

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The question of independent thinking, of the expression or repression of subjectivity in critical and literary debates in 1950s Indonesia and Vietnam, is the main topic of my essay. What I document for writers and critics in Indonesia and North Vietnam during the 1950s reinforces Bodden's argument about leftist Sumatran theater and echoes the conclusions reached by Benitez, Huynh-Beattie, and by Ingrid Muan in the published essays by her discussed above. Southeast Asians continually crossed over the clear-cut boundaries of Cold War categories, categories by means of which they have been classified as either "rightists" or "leftists" by later generations. Two characteristics shared by the four writers I examine stand out. The first was a commitment to building the new nation in a way that did not sacrifice the artist's freedom to think for him- or herself. The second was an eclectic cosmopolitanism cultivated by reading translations of Chinese or Western literature. American, Soviet, and Chinese publications during the Cold War era were a major source of translations that gave Southeast Asian writers access to literature and cultural criticism from elsewhere in the world, but Southeast Asian writers made their own creative use of this material. The three translations that fiercely nationalistic prose writer Pramoedya Ananta Toer (1925-2006) published in the Jakarta cultural studies journal Indonesia in 1955-56, for example, illuminate some of the major themes of his mature work, which was inspired, in part, by the Chinese writer Ding Ling (190486}, a prize-winning feminist author who suffered censorship and internal exile in China because of her defense of subjectivity in literature. The iconoclastic but also fervently communist Vietnamese poet Tr'an O'an (1926-97) modeled himself on the most famous, and famously individualistic, poet of the Russian revolution, Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930), whose work was available in Vietnamese translation in the 1950s. Pramoedya, Tr'an O'an, the modernist painters of Saigon, and the Filipino film director Lamberto Avellana were equally "stuck in the mud" of the contradictory demands of their respective nations in the early years of the Cold War. All were committed to the collective effort to build a strong, new nation, but also to "the inner quest for subjective truth" and the freedom of the individual. And all appealed to some kind of "universal" set of values, whether liberal or socialist, as a source of independence from the colonial past as well as from the new imperialisms of the Cold War present. Their work gave lasting expression, in short, to the failed attempt by the Asian-African Conference in Bandung in 1955 to chart a neutral "third way" in international affairs. I conclude that the "cosmopolitanism" of the writers I discuss was firmly grounded in their nationalism rather than the politics of the Cold War, a conclusion that allows me to evaluate the usefulness of two theoretical models in the field of comparative literature for interpreting Indonesian and Vietnamese literature as examples of "world literature." In connecting these writers to some of the foreign writers they read in translation, I also show that similar debates over the role of subjectivity in literature took place in the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of and Honolulu, HI: Allen and Unwin and University of Hawai'i Press, 2001), especially p. 55, where Taylor describes men sitting in a small town cafe listening to the "sultry croonings" of music popular in the Republic of South Vietnam. "Behind the cafe, obscured by a pile of sugarcane stalks, is an enormous billboard of workers and soldiers heroically saluting the achievement of a new production victory. Although the paint is fading, their resolute, blocklike forms are clear enough to reveal traces of an alien, or just a long-lost, mobilizational ideal."

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China. Nowhere in the world were the Cold War blocs as monolithic as they were made out to be by the propagandists of both sides. But throughout Southeast Asia during the Cold War, the longing for individual freedom was subordinated to the need for a strong state. Nowhere in the region was the state weaker than in Burma at the end of World War II. With the country devastated by the war, as well as by the assassination of its most able leader in 1947, a communist insurgency, a CIA-backed Chinese Guomindang (GMD) occupation, and ethnic rebel insurrections in the provinces and on the frontiers, the newly reconstituted and largely ethnic Burman tatmadnw (armed forces) under General Ne Win (1910-2002) emerged in 1962 as the guarantor of "a strong, unified Burma as a self-sufficient, developmentalist state, free from foreign tutelage and interference." 42 This military regime replaced the short-Jived Burmese parliamentary government (1948-62). Mary Callahan, a scholar of Burma, has pointed out that Ne Win's "Burmese Road to Socialism" contained many of the ideas put forward by the assassinated Aung San as well as by U Nu (1907-95), prime minister in 1948-56 and 1960-62. In 1950, U Nu wrote a play, which was broadcast over the radio, turned into a cartoon strip, and made required reading in national schools, titled Ludu Aung Than (The People Win Through). The play "emphasizes not so much the evils of Communism but the problems caused when external forces, from any quarter, attempt to interfere in Burma's internal problems." 43 The fear of "external forces" was what drove the formation of an authoritarian state in Cold War Burma. A publication from the 1950s that provides insight into this process is the popular monthly literary periodical Myawaddy, published by the Burma Army, and analyzed in fascinating detail in this collection by the Burmese writer Bo Bo. Launched in 1952 as a result of U Nu's interest in psychological warfare, 44 this journal became the tatmadaw's leading forum for debating issues and ideas prior to Ne Win's seizure of power in 1962. Bo Bo begins by tracing the history of modern Burmese literature from the 1930s to the 1950s in order to show the dominance of leftist writers even as the communist insurrection and the Cold War gave rise to fiercely anti-communist commentary in the pages of Myawaddy. He notes, for example, that the Burmese translation of George Orwell's anti-communist novel Animal Farm was unpopular in Burma because it attacked socialist ideas that were widely held by educated Burmese. And "[w]hen the US Embassy printed excerpts as anti-communist propaganda, the book's fate was sealed." Burmese of all political persuasions rejected outside meddling in their internal affairs. Myawaddy's contributors included writers of various political stripes--excommunist, socialist, leftist-recruited in the tatmadaw's effort to "win over the Mary Callahan, "Myanmar's Perpetual Junta: Solving the Riddle of the Tatmadaw's Long Reign," New Left Review 60 (November-December 2009): 41. 43 Michael W. Charney, A History of Modern Burma (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009), p. 88. An American-made film based on the play, which was widely shown in Burma, as well as an English translation for consumption by American Cold War readers turned it into "a specifically anti-Communist story ... that served the interests of the West." For a detailed discussion of this play and its significance for understanding Burmese responses to the Cold War, see Michael W. Charney, "Ludu Aung Than: Nu's Burma during the Cold War," in Goscha and Ostermann, Connecting Histories, pp. 335-55. 44 Mary P. Callahan, Making Enemies: War and State Building in Burma (Ithaca, NY, and London: Cornell University Press, 2003), p. 183.

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hearts and minds of the Burmese population, domestic insurgents, and soldiers of the tatmadaw." 45 The leftist writer Thein Fe Myint published his masterful pre-war novel about resistance to colonial domination in Myawaddy, as the magazine sought to upstage the appearance of Thein Fe Myint's war-time memoir in a rival antigovernment journal. Another left-wing writer for Myawaddy published a Burmese adaptation of a story about Andy Hardy, the hero of a Hollywood film series starring Mickey Rooney about a teenager and his family in small-town America, 46 which he used to praise General Ne Win. Contributor Chit Hlaing, "described as an antiSoviet, anti-communist Marxist," had written books about and translations of Marx and Lenin between 1948 and 1950. Myawaddy writers attacked communists as enemies of Buddhism and democracy, but they also asked for their cooperation in a united fight against common enemies like the opium-smuggling, CIA-backed Chinese Guomindang army units that were occupying territory in northeastern BurmaY Communists as invasive, foreign-supported destroyers of national unity, rather than communism as an ideology, were featured as the principal theme of anticommunist writing in Myawaddy. Another group of writers for the magazine examined the question of ethnic separatism and attempted to formulate, usually in short-story form, a definition of national identity that would be all-inclusive. But this definition was premised on ethnic Burman cultural and political dominance. Some of these stories analyzed the weaknesses in local ethnic governments, while others focused on "the beauty of ethnic girls and seemed to be influenced by the Victorian adventure writer Rider Haggard." Still another source of ideas about national identity for readers of Myawaddy were tales of Burmese patriotism taken from the ancient past as well as the colonial period. Burmese tradition was praised, while Western styles and manners, as displayed in Hollywood movies and mimicked by Christian ethnic groups, were soundly criticized. Suspicion of Western culture and Western interference in Burmese affairs was prevalent in all such writing. Yet the leading ideologist writing for Myawaddy, Chit Hlaing, shunned both sides in the Cold War as he tried to formulate "a third way of founding a just society, along the lines of the Scandinavian states, India, or Sukarno's Indonesia .... " Such a society could only exist on the basis of Burman dominance. "Following a credo that posits Burman superiority, an assumption inherited from the 1930s Dobama Asiayone nationalist movement," Bo Bo concludes, "the tatmadaw were bound to adopt a Nietzschean belief in the need for a strong state built by a noble race." In Burma of the 1950s, anti-communist paranoia was a product of an actual communist insurgency as well as of the fear that the FRC regime to the north would intervene in order to eliminate the American-backed GMD units on its border. 48 Focusing on Thailand of the 1960s and 1970s, Rachel Harrison agues in her essay that Ibid. See a discussion and synopses of the Andy Hardy films at www.andyhardyfilms.com. 47 Callahan, Making Enemies, pp. 154-56. 48 Ibid., p. 156. "The Nu government, which notably was the first foreign non-communist country to recognize the PRC in 1949, feared that the continuation on Burmese soil of U.S.backed preparations for a KMT invasion into China would provoke the Chinese communists into simply annexing all of Burma. Furthermore, with the start of the Korean War, Burmese observers rightfully worried that the United States might be setting up a second front in northeastern Burma." 45

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the representation of the "Red Peril" in the films of male action star and pin-up Mit Chaibancha evidenced a similar anti-communist paranoia, expressed in the Thai context as anxiety about Chinese "otherness." In this case, however, the Chinese threat was internal to Thailand and endangered not only political unity and survival of the state, but something even more fundamental: Thai ethnic identity itself. Harrison begins her essay with a discussion of the Americanization of Thailand during the period when Plack Phibunsongkhram (1897-1964) was prime minister, from 1948 through 1957. Since the 1930s, when he had served as army chief, a minister of defense, and also prime minister (1938-44), Phibun promoted policies and even made films that portrayed Thailand as a homeland in danger of being, as he put it, "effaced from the world" unless defended by "the army as its fence." 49 He also continued to adhere to a concept of Thainess that had been developing since the late nineteenth century, in which the ethnic Thai were imagined to be "a race with martial characteristics, threatened by bad neighbours and great powers, rescued by unifying around a strong leader, and dedicated to the pursuit of progress." 50 After the "fall" of China to the communists in 1949, Phibun offered token support for US Cold War policies in Asia in return for US military assistance. When the Thai Chinese community reacted positively to the establishment of the PRC in 1949, the need to control Thailand's own Chinese population and a "crackdown on communism" became "interlocked" in the minds of those who ruled Thailand. 51 Phibun amplified the anti-communist propaganda communicated to Thai audiences through imported Hollywood movies, which dominated the Thai market. His relaxation of restrictions on leftists and Chinese in 1955, however, allowed a stream of pro-PRC, anti-American sentiment to pour forth in the press. On October 20, 1958, army field marshal Sarit Thanarat seized power (for the second time in a year), cracked down on anti-American dissent, and was awarded US$20 million for economic development by the US. 52 At last the Americans had secured their "gigantic immobile aircraft carrier" 53 for pursuing a land- and air-war against communism in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Harrison's discussion focuses on Thai films made from the late 1950s, as American influence was growing, to the late 1970s, as the Americans were withdrawing in defeat from mainland Southeast Asia and large numbers of Thais educated during the heady years of American-funded economic expansion began to react to the dawning uncertainties of a Thai future no longer dominated by the West. The films of this period were influenced by Hollywood "red scare" movies from the 1950s and 60s that sounded the alarm about communist "enemies within." In the Thai versions of such films, although the plot follows the binary logic of the American prototype-us versus them, virtuous village versus immoral city, family versus individal, good Thai Buddhist versus bad foreign communist-the identity of the "enemy within" is more multiform than is the American one, a composite threat Quoted in Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit, A History of Thailand (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), p. 125.

49

Ibid., p. 139. Ibid., p. 145. 52 Ibid., p. 148. 53 This is Benedict Anderson's well-known metaphor, cited by Harrison, for Thailand when the Americans used the country as their primary base for waging war against communism in Indochina.

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that encompasses all the negative forces perceived during the Thai "American era"communist Chinese and Western capitalist all wrapped up into one, The popular Thai movie actor Mit Chaibancha mimicked the leading rightwing Hollywood proponent of America's Cold War, movie star John "Duke" Wayne, 54 to play the role of a Thai national hero battling "communism" on the silver screen. Mit exemplified Phibun's definition of the ideal ethnic Thai male. But the question Harrison asks is, What did "communism" mean, exactly, in Mit's Red and Golden Eagle films? In her close reading of Mit's final movie, "The Golden Eagle" (1970), in which the actor lost his life doing his own helicopter stunt, Harrison shows that the plot was influenced less by American Cold War films and their obsessive anticommunist message than by the "Yellow Peril" theme of the British classics authored by Sax Rohmer and featuring the "insidious Dr. Fu Manchu," who made his first appearance in 1913 as a Chinese megalomaniac bent on world conquest. Fu Manchu's fictional adventures were turned into films between 1965 and 1970, but Thai readers made a much earlier acquaintance with another one of Rohmer's Chinese arch villains. King Rama VI (r. 1910-25), who called the Chinese the "Jews of the East" in a pamphlet written in 1913, translated Rohmer's The Golden Scorpion (1919) into Thai during another period of ethnic Thai anxiety caused by Chinese economic dominance in Bangkok and Chinese political activism in Thailand just before and after the overthrow of the Manchu dynasty by Chinese nationalists in 1911.55 It is implied that the Fu Manchu-like villain in "The Golden Eagle" also intends to overthrow a monarchy, until he is unmasked by Mit, acting as the Golden Eagle (i.e., the iconic symbol of the United States), whose sexiness draws on male Thai cultural stereotypes as well as the attributes of Hollywood's Agent 007. Sinophobia is given an added gender twist in the film by the introduction of a transvestite character as an important member of the communist gang. "Her" presence in "The Golden Eagle" adds the fear of homosexuality to the list of ideological and racial anxieties served up to the audience. Harrison suggests that by combining Hollywood Cold War action movie plots with American comic-book characters to make Thai films about a "peril" that was indistinguishably both "Red" and "Yellow," Thai movie directors adopted fantasy, rather than realism, as the their filmic mode of addressing the question of Southeast Asian identity during the Cold War. 56 Thai movie "communists" were hybrid, "freefloating signifiers" of multiple imagined threats to Thai identity. For a good discussion of John Wayne as "America's greatest Cold War screen propagandist," see Tony Shaw, Hollywood's Cold War (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007), pp. 199-233. 55 Baker and Pasuk, A History, p. 114. 56 Even the most famous American Cold War military action movie of all time, John Wayne's The Green Berets (1968), was popular because of its "very unrealism," according to Tony Shaw, since many watched it as a rip-roaring "cowboys and Indians" movie (Shaw, Hollywood's Cold War, p. 223). Shaw also cites a perceptive comment on The Green Berets by Gary Wills, which is worth quoting in full since it suggests parallels between Thai movie-goers entranced by the timeless Thai ethnic heroism of Mit Chaibancha, or Burman tatmadaw readers inspired by tales of ancient Burman heroes in Myawaddy, and American Cold War audiences turning to an imagined, more heroic past to quiet their anxieties about the present. "The picture is more absurd than The Alamo," Wills writes. "Wayne is totally miscast as a tough combat leader rappelling down ropes with a rescued woman on his back. Yet ... [f]or Wayne fans, its very unrealism may have been its selling point. People who did not want to know about the actual Vietnam War could feel that the national unity and resolve of World War II might turn around 54

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Jennifer Lindsay analyzes another striking example of Cold War cultural hybridization, a form of state and state-forming diplomacy, in her essay on the first South-East Asia Cultural Festival, held in Singapore in 1963. Lindsay frames the festival as an expression of the cosmopolitanism that was basic to Cold War culture throughout Southeast Asia. But her essay places more emphasis than the others in the collection on a Southeast Asian drive, different from nationalism but dependent on it, to establish transnational kinds of community. There were a number of transnational groupings to which Southeast Asian nations belonged in the 1950s and 1960s, Lindsay explains, which expressed either alliance with one of the Cold War blocs (i.e., the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization [SEATO], the Association of Southeast Asia [ASA]) or some other kind of transnational solidarity (i.e., the NonAligned Movement [NAM], the Afro-Asian Movement). One short-lived regional organization, Maphilindo (1963), brought the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaya together on the basis of a shared Malay cultural and racial heritage. Lindsay argues that the planners of the 1963 festival increasingly saw "culture" as a way of bridging the differences among these transnational groupings. But there was another stateforming political calculation at work in the way the festival organizers formulated their concept of multiculturalism. Lindsay quotes comments on the festival by S. Rajaratnam, one of the founders of the People's Action Party (PAP), and points out that the "cultural commonalities" he ascribed to the participating countries from Cambodia, Hong Kong, Laos, Malaya, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, South Vietnam, India, North Borneo, and the Philippines reflected those of the four racial groups of Singapore itself-Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Western. Since 1962, the PAP, led by Lee Kwan Yew, had been courting all the racial groups of Singapore to support a plan to allow Singapore to merge with the new Federation of Malaysia, scheduled to come into existence on August 31, 1963, a move that would insure Lee Kwan Yew's own political future. Leftists in the PAP, most of whom were Chinese and only some of whom were communist sympathizers, opposed the merger plan out of a desire to protect Singapore Chinese interests and independence. Lee crushed this "communist" opposition in February 1963, just months before the festival took place. When Lindsay writes that "the strongest cultural image projected at the festival had to do with multiracialism and harmony" and that "[t]he rhetoric here was of nation-building and the need to create a common Malaysian culture," she points to the cultural work the festival was doing in support of the new Federation of Malaysia, which was about to be born. She also brings to mind the racialized cultural policy pursued by Lee Kwan Yew and the PAP after Sing a pore had been expelled from Malaysia in 1965. The 1963 festival clearly foreshadowed this policy by its "locking of national culture into a composite made of discrete racial components," as Lindsay puts it. "Under the CMIO (Chinese Malay, Indian, Others) scheme, every Singaporean is officially racially typed at birth," writes Chua Beng Huat in an analysis of state-run "multiculturalism" in contemporary Singapore. "Under the CMIO scheme, the languages, religions, and festivals of the three major groups this strange new conflict in the far-off jungles of the East. Wayne was fighting World War II again, the only way he ever did, in make-believe; and that make-believe was a memory of American greatness that many still wanted to live by." Gary Wills, John Wayne's America: The Politics ofCI'lebrity (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1997), p. 233.

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receive formal equal treatment." 5 7 "The Festival projected a vision of the nation made up of gathered races performing to and with each other, a vision that was extended to Southeast Asia as a whole," Lindsay concludes. In the Singapore context of 1963, this was a vision, not just of Southeast Asian regional cooperation, but of how to build a strong state in which culture would be "locked" into place according to racial categories. In Singapore during the 1950s, these issues had been freely debated, for leftist internationalism was in the ascendancy and Malay proponents of Indonesian Generation 45-inspired "universal humanism" lived and wrote side by side with Chinese socialist realists, who read cheap translations of Chekhov, Tolstoy, Ibsen, Flaubert, and Zola from the Foreign Languages Press in Beijing. 58 But the debate was now being stifled. In this sense, the inflexible racial templates adopted by the first South-East Asia Cultural Festival, which would have lasting significance to the nation, were the antithesis of the ideologically pluralistic spirit of the Asian-African Conference in Bandung, although the feeling of an anticolonial "transnational racial solidarity challenging a white-dominated power structure" found in Singapore was also present in Bandung. 59 The last two essays in the collection shift the perspective on the Cold War issues refracted through culture that have been examined in earlier discussions-national and racial identity, state formation, cosmopolitanism, the shifting meanings of "communism"-from the time of the Cold War to the contemporary moment. A generation of Southeast Asians who have not experienced the wars, political upheavals, and cultural debates of that era are now reexamining the Cold War in search of new ways of thinking about national identity, cultural expression, and the future of the nation. Gaik Cheng Khoo examines independent filmmakers in Malaysia who seek to reinvent the nation in terms of its true historical racial and political diversity, a diversity that was suppressed during the Cold War in the name of anticommunism and ethnic Malay political dominance. Khoo echoes Bo Bo, Harrison, and Lindsay in demonstrating the importance of race in the construction of both the nation and the state in Southeast Asia. Independent films such as I Love Malaya and The Last Communist combat the anti-Chinese racism inherited from the colonial period and reinforced during the Cold War, as well as the lingering yet powerful paranoia felt by an older generation about "insidious enemies at home and abroad" who still threaten them with annihilation. 60 Malaysians of filmmaker Amir Muhammad's (b. 1972) generation, however, are both fearless and simply curious about Malaysia's "communist" past. For them, the Chua Beng Huat, "Multiculturalism in Singapore: an Instrument of Social Control," Race and Class 44,3 (2003): 60. 58 Sunil S. Amrith, "Internationalism and Political Pluralism in Singapore, 1950-1963," in Paths Not Taken, ed. Barr and Trocki, p. 50. 59 Matthew Jones, "A 'Segregated' Asia?: Race, the Bandung Conference, and Pan-Asianist Fears in American Thought and Policy, 1954-1955," Diplomatic History 29,5 (November 2005): 865. Amrith ( "Internationalism," p. 40) quotes a speech by the Singapore leftist leader David Marshall, who grasped another commonality shared by the Asian-African states represented in Bandung. "I want you to try and understand," he told a group of Chinese students, "it is not Singapore alone that allows arrests and detentions without trial, but free countries like the great Republic of India [and] the great socialist country of Burma [which] also find it necessary in these troubled times to have such powers." 60 See the full quote from Kuznick and Gilbert, Rethinking, p. 11, in footnote 13, above. 57

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Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) was part of "a world that was not so unilateral, not so dominated by US interests ... and communism provided an alternative way of living, if not a balance of global power." Seen from the current era, dominated by only one global superpower, the Cold War looks appealingly pluralistic! In documentaries by Amir and Fahmi Reza, Malayan Chinese communists and others "are given room to speak back," in more than one language, and so reveal themselves to the audience as patriotic nationalists, good Muslims, and cosmopolitan, multicultural Southeast Asians. In the words of octogenarian CPM member Pak Sukor, quoted by Khoo: "Our bodies in the wilderness ... Our hands embrace the motherland ... And our eyes see the whole world." Pak Sukor's sentiments would have been entirely shared by the leftist theater practitioners Michael Bodden interviewed for his study. Khoo makes the radicalizing potential of rediscovering such sentiments and making them part of current political discourse in Malaysia explicit and exciting. Documenting the past of the Left in Malaysia reconnects the past to the present, adding a new dimension to the living nation of today and another possibility for its future. Finally, Barbara Hatley gives a carefully documented account of contemporary theater groups and filmmakers in the Central Javanese city of Yogyakarta who are reexamining the events of 1965, the year when an army coup brought General Suharto, who masterminded mass killings and imprisonment for thousands of suspected "communists," to power. Hatley adds sexism to the list of forces shaping the meaning of "communism" in the Indonesian case. In one documentary, women describe being sexually violated because, they were told, their leftist political views made them no better than prostitutes. The documentaries, however, present the audience with "an ordinary person, not an alien monster, who is describing firsthand experiences of confusion and suffering with which viewers can readily empathize." The viewer of such films thus becomes, as Karen Strassler has written about today's young Indonesians when they look at photographs of young people from 1965-66, a "witness," that is, someone acting "as agent who in the act of observing becomes charged with the authority and the obligation to bear witness to others." 61 Strassler singles out one picture in particular, of young men and women attending a Communist Party rally in 1965, which resonates with Hatley's discussion. In this photograph, Strassler writes, the face of a woman leaps out at the viewer: "She is laughing. Her hair is well-combed, she is dressed stylishly and neatly. Her face is, in a word, lovely .... There is nothing sinister in this photograph, nothing that would conform to the evil image of communists perpetrated by the New Order regime, nothing that would su-ggest the future that awaits them." 62 Strassler's direct focus on an individual and on the openness of the future suggested by the photographic image recalls, once again, the analysis of Francisco Benitez in this volume, as Benitez suggests that Avellana's movie characters, including the Huks, express a similar, non-ideological humanity and open-ended futurity, one that, in being universal, becomes the template for an all-inclusive and independent, postcolonial Filipino identity. Karen Strassler, "Material Witnesses: Photographs and the Making of Reformasi History," in Beginning to Remember: The Past in the fndonesimz Present, ed. Mary S. Zurbuchen (Singapore

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and Seattle, WA: Singapore University Press in association with University of Washington Press, 2005), p. 283. 62 Ibid., p. 298.

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Hatley provides telling commentary on audience reaction to some nondocumentary movies about 1965 that she watched. A group of women who had been victimized in 1965 found one film made in 2007, which is set in a Javanese village and makes use of Javanese cultural stereotypes about the weakness of women for emotional effect, "quite at odds with their own experience." Hatley's discussion of a play performed by three hundred actors in front of an audience of a thousand people, in which the events of 1965 were presented in allegorical form as a story about a traditional Javanese kingdom, seems to provide support for Bodden's suggestion that modern theater and its message can be obfuscated when staged using the conventions of Javanese theatrical tradition. In other performances inflected in simpler ways by Javanese cultural forms, however, Hatley observed the violence of 1965 being reenacted with great power. In one such play, even orthodox Muslims, who were among those who took part in the killings of "communists" in 1965-66, were portrayed in a critical manner. Hatley argues that the very use of the traditional Javanese ketoprak theater form for contemporary plays and films about 1965 has been a way of memorializing the pre-1965 past, since this kind of theater was the favorite medium of leftist theater practitioners of that era. Yet the recovery of what was lost in 1965 by contemporary theater practitioners in Central Java, Hatley concludes, is limited. Performances about 1965 serve as "a warning against presentday social stereotyping ... [b]ut the issue of what the communist movement was and what it stood for remains unexplored." The essays in this book make clear that further exploration of the Cold War past is both possible and imperative. They do more than simply provide important insights into cultural expression from and about the Cold War era of Southeast Asian history. The enormous, sometimes catastrophic, impact of the Cold War on Southeast Asian hearts, minds, and bodies is evident in the films, plays, paintings, theater performances, literary works, popular magazines, festivals, and sporting events that are examined here. But the cultural evidence presented in this collection is also unequivocal, more so than political and social events themselves, in demonstrating the resilient ability, manifest throughout many centuries, of Southeast Asians to make their own history. Contrary to George Orwell's prediction, the "exploited classes" of Southeast Asia rose in revolt, despite the Cold War, in the name of cultural and political freedom. The meanings of words like "communist," "cosmopolitan," "nationalistic," or "modern" that are now used to describe cultural processes during that time must be reconnected to the ways in which they were debated during the Cold War in Southeast Asia, when they were understood in terms of a cultural as well as a political struggle for independence and survival that was already underway when the Cold War arrived in the region. The Cold War made that struggle more violent and deadly, but it did not alter its trajectory. For each of the national cultures discussed in this book, the tendency toward anxiety and conformity in the face of outside forces, state absolutism, or ideological rigidity during the Cold War has given way to creative pluralism and innovative individuality, two age-old and seemingly inexhaustible sources of progressive change in Southeast Asia.

FILMING PHILIPPINE MODERNITY DURING THE COLD WAR: THE CASE OF LAMBERTO A VELLANA Francisco Benitez

The Philippines gained its independence from the United States, its previous colonial ruler, in 1946, and served as an exemplary outpost of US liberal democracy in Southeast Asia during the Cold War. 1 Reflecting this colonial history and neocolonial relationship, the Philippine national bourgeoisie understood their postcolonial role assigned them to act as defenders of Western democracy against communism. The country served not only as a major base for US military operations in the region, but provided troops for the Vietnam and Korean Wars. The establishment of the Committee on On-Filipino Activities (CUFA, later renamed the Committee on Anti-Filipino Activities [CAFA]) in the late 1940s mirrored US attempts to police its own population's infiltration by communism. 2 Unlike the United States, however, post-war Philippines was experiencing an actual armed peasant unrest known as the Huk Rebellion, an uprising led by a combination of peasant leaders, union organizers, socialists, and communists? 1 "Liberal democracy" here reflects that term's use in the Philippines in the 1950s and 60s for US-style democracy and capitalism in contrast to communism and socialism. See, for example, Petronilo Bn. Daroy, "The Failure of Liberalism," in Against the National Grain (Manila: Rem Printing Press, 1966). For a discussion of the general milieu of the Cold War in this period that compares the Philippine situation with that of China and Vietnam from the point of view of American imd Soviet policymakers, see Michael Hunt and Steven Levine, "Revolutionary Movements in Asia and the Cold War," in Origins of tlzc Cold War: An International History, ed. Melvyn Leffler and David Painter (New York, NY: Routledge, 2005), pp. 251-64. 2 For example, the United States' House On-American Activities Committee (commonly HUAC, or, more properly, HCUA; 1938-75). 3 For a classic history of the rebellion, see Benedict J. Kerkvliet, The Huk Rebellion: A Study of Peasant Revolt in the Philippines (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1977). Also see Eduardo Lachica, HUK Philippine Agrarian Society in Revolt (Manila: Solidaridad Publishing House, 1971); Luis Taruc, Born of the People (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1973); Eduardo Lachica, He Who Rides the Tiger (New York, NY: Praeger, 1967); William J. Pomeroy, The Philippines: Colonialism, Collaboration, and Resistance (New York, NY: International Publishers, 1992); and Vina Lanzona, Amazons of the Huk Rebellion (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009).

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Huk units had fought as guerrillas against the Japanese during World War II, but US General MacArthur did not recognize the Huks as war veterans. 4 Many Huks were forcibly disarmed, arrested, and charged with communist subversion as early as February 1945. As Vina Lanzona points out, the new Philippine Republic, "still under the colonial influence of the U.S. government, was determined not to let the Left establish a political power base and launched a series of actions aimed at delegitimizing the Huk leadership and undermining its popular support . . . the peasant rebellion grew in size and organizational strength between 1946 and 1950, and the number of armed Huks increased to roughly twenty thousand. Supported by an even larger number of noncombatant peasant supporters, the Huks were able to capture villages, drive out landlords, and redistribute land among the tenants." 5 Critical of postcolonial Philippines' continuation of oligarchic rule, the Huks provided a critique of modernization and an alternative understanding of modernity-one that argued for "revolutionary conditions" that made the state and nation open to armed communist takeover. 6 The Huk rebellion, which gained momentum in 1946 after Huk leaders who were elected to congress were barred from taking their seats, required the attention of the Philippines and the United States in efforts to stop the spread of communism in Southeast Asia. The counterinsurgency techniques of the United States Information Service (USIS) and the Joint United States Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG), under then-secretary of defense and future Philippine president Ramon Magsaysay, and US "liaison officer" Edward Lansdale, included intense military operations, psychological warfare (psywar), and ubiquitous propaganda as part of the battle to win the hearts and minds of Huk supporters. The neutralization of the rebellion by the mid-1950s has been touted as a model of counterinsurgency and anti-communist tactics. In the late-1940s and early '50s, Filipino cinema, as a manifestation of national culture, reflected the unsettled conditions present in the Philippines. That period of continuing war and rebellion also heralded the emergence of what has been called the Philippine film-studio system's "Golden Age." The images and narratives produced by this industry are not merely the purveyors of what a Marxist critic might call "false consciousness," but, in fact, are themselves terrains of ideological struggle and production. In 1976, Lamberto A vellana, a theater and film director whose career spanned the 1930s to the 1980s, was the government's first Philippine 4 "Huk" is the term for two distinct but connected peasant-based movements in the Philippines. The first led to the formation of the Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon (Hukbalahap, or People's Anti-Japanese Army), founded by leaders of peasant organizations and the Communist Party of the Philippines (Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas, or PKP) in 1942 to fight against the Japanese. During World War II, many of these units fought as guerillas allied to the United States. The period after independence-after 1946-saw the reestablishment and rise of the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan (HMB, or People's Liberation Army), and its members were also called the Huks.

Lanzona, Amazons of the Huk Rebellion, p. 7. The Huks themselves were not monolithic but, rather, represented a coalition of peasants, socialists, and communists, some of whom were also union organizers. For an overview of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP or PKP) and its involvement with the Huk Movement before and after World War II, the movement's own internal struggles (particularly over the existence of a "revolutionary condition"), and the responses of the Philippine central government to PKP challenges, both electoral and armed, see Alfredo Saulo, Communism in the Philippines: An Introduction (Quezon City: Ateneo De Manila University Press, 2002). See also Taruc, Born of the People, and Kerkvleit, The Huk Rebellion.

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national artist for film. Film critic and historian Agustin Sotto cites him as the director who first understood the importance of mise-en-scene and the personality of the camera in Philippine cinema. 7 Arguably, Avellana's cinema makes sense of the Cold War and the government's anti-Huk propaganda by recognizing them as elements in a continuing crisis of Filipino modernization and modernity. Post-World War II Filipino modernization can be seen in terms of the country's urban population displacements, neocolonial economic instability, and rural warfare. These national crises produced multiple, and often conflicting, narratives of modernization and modernity that responded to, and resolved, the anxieties about these conditions. Against communism's own narrative of modernity as a class struggle, and in the context of the Huk's challenge to the nation-state, Avellana's films project a nationalist, liberal ideology as a specifically Filipino filmic response to globalized modernization during the Cold War, modernization that can also be understood as a form of US imperialism. 8 In this chapter I look at how three award-winning films by Lamberto Avellana used specific cinematic techniques, such as camera angles and music, to present Cold War tensions as a predicament of existential, subjective, and individual choices. Such choices required a coherent "self," an individual, struggling against the apprehension of the "experience of modernity as the immanence of disaster and disenchantment"~ as its suturing fantasy. By this I mean a fantasy that stitches together the split subject. 10 At the same time, it sutures the viewer into the film's narration and into a particular ideology. It creates an illusion of coherence and unity in the face of modernity's crisis of disenchantment and disaster, and of Cold War modernization's continuing crisis of imperial competition and instability. Avellana, in fact, produces images and narratives of the "individual" struggling against the forces and constraints of Philippine modernization. While Philippine modernist visual art fragments points-of-view and foregrounds how visuality itself becomes a terrain of Cold War struggle so that the critique of modern fragmentation becomes one of its key functions, 11 Avellana responded to the Cold War with images of a coherent nationalist Filipino subjectivity appropriate to and adequate for living See Agustin V. Sotto, "Lamberto V. Avellana," in Focus on Filipino Films: A Sampling, 19511982 (Manila: Experimental Cinema of the Philippines, 1983), p. 14. 8 For a discussion of specific, cultural forms for modernity, see Charles Taylor, "Two Theories of Modernity," in Alternative Modernities, ed. Dilip Gaonkar (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001). For US imperialism and Philippine neocolonialism, see, for example, Paul Kramer, Blood of Government (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2006); H. W. Brands, Bound to Empire (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1992); Stephen Shalom, The United States and the Philippines (Philadelphia, PA: Institute for the Study of Human Issues, 1981); and Renato Constantino, Neo-colonial Identity and Counter-Consciousness (London: Merlin Press, 1978). 7

John Blanco, "Baroque Modernity and the Colonial World: Aesthetics and Catastrophe in Nick Joaquin's A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino," Kritika Kultura 4 (March 2004): 7.

9

° For general discussions of suture, see Kaja Silverman, The Subject of Semiotics (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1983); and Slavoj Zizek, The Fright of Real Tears: Krzysztof Kieslowski between Theory and Post-Theory (London: BFI Publications, 2001), chapter 2. For Zizek, of course, suture is more than the "gaze" and is always attempting (and failing) to cover the subject's constitutive lack. One could read Avellana's films against the grain and highlight the failures in suture or the shifting camera positions, but I leave that for another essay. 11 See Jonathan Beller, Acquiring Eyes: Philippine Visunlity, Nationalist Struggle, and the WorldMedia System (Quezon City: Ateneo University Press, 2006).

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through Cold War conditions: his imagined subject is a loyal and productive citizen of the nation-state, a nation-state that, in turn, is shown to be in need of working towards the common good of its citizens and against older feudal structures of power. Envisioned as specifically national, A vellana' s Filipino subject was loyal to the nation-state and the economic system inherited from (and some might argue continued) US rule, even as he often critiqued the underside of greed and a monetary system gone wild. Read contrapuntally to the Huk charge that Philippine electoral politics has not led to true national liberation, Avellana's films provide more than a means for cooptation into dominant ideology. More importantly, they fabricate, interpellate, and fix the audience as coherent, responsible, liberal, modern, nationalist citizens. His films posit a stable "standpoint" subject position and have a pedagogical function of producing the Filipino nationalist as liberal citizen subject. The first Avellana film I will discuss is the US-government co-produced propaganda film HUK sa Bagong Pamumulzay (HUK in a New Life/Livelihood, 1953; henceforth HBP), which won national awards. After the capture of Huk's leader, Luis Tame, in 1954, and the official end of the Huk movement, Avellana also directed the neo-realist Anak Dalita (literally, Child of Sorrow, 1956; the English title is The Ruins), about a Korean War veteran returning to and remaking a life for himself among the slums and in the shadow of the cathedral ruins of Post-World War II Manila. A year later came Avellana's ethnographic Badjao (1957), about the tensions between the settled Tausug and the Sea Gypsies of the Sulu Archipelago, the BadjaoY In the face of competing Cold War ideologies, these films produced, promoted, and cultivated a specifically Filipino, loyal, liberal, nationalist subject, even after the official end of the military's psychological warfare against the Huks. During the Cold War, film not only registered cultural anxieties reflective of ideological desires: film was a means by which a particular vision of universal liberal ideology was turned into a nationalist narrative that produced a specific kind of subjectivity. Film was also a means by which this ideology could be disseminated among the general population. Philippine filmmakers understood the dual capacities of their industry to reflect the collective unconscious of the population, as well as its potential to transfix its audience into spectating consumers. Film's ideological value lies not only in its capacity to tap into popular anxieties, but also to provide answers or resolutions to the social contradictions that cause those anxieties (e.g., Cold War modernization). u As examples of disciplinary technology, films coordinate images In 1964, Avellana and Rolf Bayer, credited as writers for all three films, also made Scout Rangers, which won a Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) best-director award in 1965. The poster for Scout Rangers claims it is "the true story of the most decorated and 'fightingest' unit of the armed forces of the Philippines that broke the back of communism and proved that this country was an impregnable bastion of democracy in the Far East." Other Avellana films from the 1960s with Bayer involvement are Cry Freedom, Destination Vietnam, and The Evil Within. I think the poster and the titles' Cold War themes speak for themselves. Bayer also performs the "American" Huk in HBP, a role based on the historical American Huk, William Pomeroy. 13 Rafael Guerrero notes, "The Tagalog movie formulas that are resurrected time and again as box office demands reveal deep-rooted, tacit, and even covert aspirations, frustrations, and complexes of more pertinence to the national character than to the established genres of the cinema," in his Readings in Philippine Cinema (Manila: Experimental Cinema of the Philippines, 1983), p. 109. We, of course, can question the changing historical conditions that shape the "national character" (and thus the changes in national character) to which these formulae are addressed.

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and narratives of social reality to propose and produce a particular type of subjectivity. Furthermore, film must erase its own mediatory function in order to hide its task as a technology that purveys an ideology. Cinema provides scripts for the imaginary itself, even as it redirects the desires and fantasies of the social imaginary to assemble and produce its own consumers. 14 The subjectivity proposed by the films must be apprehended by the audience as commonsensical: simultaneously culturally particular as well as normative, necessary, and natural. Objective social contradictions were in this way displaced and resolved by a subject that appears transcendental, universal, and ahistorical. Caught in a predicament between what Teodoro Locsin in 1952 called the "tiger" of communism's armed struggle and the "hyena" of capitalism's alienating and unbridled lust for money, 15 Avellana's films sought to explore the ways in which the pressures of modernization, the neocolonial relationship between the United States and the Philippines, and the need for a national subject immanent to these conditions could be apprehended and negotiated. His films drew on structures of feeling and constraints that emerged out of Cold War material conditions, and stitched them into narratives that could produce a coherent Filipino citizen subject. These explorations in culh1re ideologically articulated, or linked, the postcolonial nationalist cultural identity of the Philippine nation-state to the larger ideologies of a liberal empire that the United States sought to maintain through its finance capital, covert operations, and continuing military presence in the country. "I AM GOING TO MAKE THE HUK A CAPITALIST" 16 AS COLD WAR RHETORIC

Like communist ideology, government propaganda also presented itself as a universal truth that the peasants simply needed to understand. For the communists, the reality of peasant dispossession ought to be sufficient to convince the poor to revolt. For the government, however, the peasants had to be inoculated from the contaminating disease of communist thought and shown the morality and common sense of the state's position. Psychological warfare was understood by Magsaysay and Lansdale as a fight for the hearts and minds of the population, a way to shield peasant supporters from the bewitching and fascinating (but false and thus temporary) promises of communism. As Jose Crisol points out, The weakness of enemy propaganda, however, is fundamental: it is on the wrong side. It has to sell a twisted truth, a warped idea. Its appeal may hold a temporary fascination, but it is vulnerable to counter measures. When a bewitched audience is freed from the temporary fascination, usually it is forever immune to further enemy propaganda. The weapon against falsehood is always truth. How to expose falsehood and how to clarify truth is the technique, not 14 For a discussion of Philippine fantasy production's links to global capital, see Neferti Xina M. Tadiar, Fantasy-Production: Sexual Economics and Other Philippine Consequences for the New World Order (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2004).

Teodoro Locsin, "The Tiger and the Hyena," Philippine Free Press, August 2, 1952. Quote from Ramon Magsaysay in "The Philippines: Clean Up Man," Time LVIII,22 (November 26, 1951): 6. The issue had Ramon Magsaysay on the cover. Sec www.time.com/time /magazine/ article/0,9171,821878, OO.html, viewed on January 19, 2010. 15

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Francisco Benitez always easy, of the informational and psychological warfare carried on by the Department of National Defense [emphasis added]. 17

Crisol's use of "immune" suggests a metaphorical comparison of communist ideology to a disease or a virus from which the population must be protected. Increasing immunity, however, did not require that the subjects first be infected by the communist virus. This bio-political metaphor and policy meant recognizing the validity of peasant concerns and providing a government response to them, or at least the appearance of one. Huk supporters had to be shown the "truth" of the government position, the emptiness of communism's promises, and the falsity of the Communist Party line and its analysis. Note that the government's position is assumed to be the "truth," a truth that simply has not been fully realized by the peasantry and becomes part of their "common sense." As Gramsci writes, "common sense is an ambiguous, contradictory, and multiform concept ... it is possible to state correctly that a certain truth has become part of common sense in order to indicate that it has spread beyond the confines of intellectual groups." 18 Attention to anxieties over propaganda and ideology thus expose "universal truths" as contingent on hegemonic structures. These very anxieties in turn reveal a need or desire for bewitchment in a disenchanted world. 19 In this context, the Huks and their sympathizers had to be re-converted from rebellious peasants to regain their (purported) natural, docile state of being loyal citizen-subjects of the nation-state. To this end, the military used a comprehensive campaign of mass media, including radio and films. The Philippine government, in association with the US military, "mounted a massive anti-Huk propaganda campaign, distributing in a two-year period over thirteen million leaflets and other materials and conducting over six thousand meetings." 20 Government propaganda flooded the field as part of its attempt to "sell" its truth. As a governmental technique, the ubiquitous dissemination of propaganda heightens media's capacity to totalize the population. Media, according to this view, seek to imagine, constitute, and enclose a "public" receptive to particular messages, and then to police it. Government propaganda sought to combat the fascinating allure of communism with the mesmerizing glamour of media and the omnipresence of the state in everyday village life. At the same time, the need to use propaganda at all highlights the government's anxiety over the fragmentation of the state's 17 Jose Crisol was head of the defense department's public affairs office that carried out psywar media activities and, later, was President Magsaysay's secretary of defense. See Jose Crisol, "Communist Propaganda in the Philippines (1950-1953)," Philippine Studies 1,3-4 (December 1953): 222.

Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks (New York, NY: International Publishers, 1971), p. 423.

18

19 For notions of hegemony and common sense, I borrow from Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks. Here I am suggesting that films themselves are a means of production of ideological structures as well as a means of ideological dissemination. 20 Renato Constantino, quoted in Beller, Acquiring Eyes, p. 102. See also Pomeroy's discussion of the way in which the USIS used the Philippines as a base for propaganda activities throughout Asia, in Colonialism, Collaboration, and Resistance, pp. 170-74; and Alvin Scaff, The Philippine Answer to Communism (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1955). Benedict Anderson calls Scaff a "former CIA officer" and his book invaluable and "ingenuous." See Benedict Anderson, "Cacique Democracy," in Anderson's The Spectre of Comparison (London: Verso, 1998), p. 207.

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centralizing, absolute sovereign eye/1 under modernization. The very need for propaganda on this scale suggests the extent of the government's insecurity over its control of citizens' opinions and sentiment, even as the government asserted its power legitimately to speak for the people. 21 The actual content of the media can be analyzed as part of a disciplinary bio-politics that had the goal of constituting liberal subjects where they perhaps did not yet exist. The population had to be trained or coerced into believing that the crisis of modernity that they were experiencing could only be resolved by the liberal democratic ideology espoused by the nation-state. To that end, Secretary of Defense Magsaysay sought to ensure that the population believed that the government worked in its interests, in order to guarantee that the people chose the government's position instead of that of the Huk ideologues. The appearance of a responsive government was crucial to Magsaysay and Lansdale's anti-communist campaign. Magsaysay argued: Why is it that a foreign power has been able to trick some of our simple Filipino peasants into serving it? Let us be frank. It is because we have for too long turned our backs upon them while we satisfied our own selfish desires. However, when a persevering governmental program has been able to bridge the gap of misunderstanding and has succeeded in inspiring [the people's] confidence, and when they have become convinced that governmental authorities exercise their power as a means for their liberation, then they respond with unfailing enthusiasm and loyalty. Left to themselves, they were easy victims for the clever international swindlers who are buying men's souls with empty promises. Today ... your armed forces are proving this fact. They have said to the Huks, "As guardians of our nation's safety, it is our duty to hunt you down and kill you if you do not surrender. But, as fellow Filipinos, we would rather help you return to a happy Filipino way of life." Many former Huks have accepted this offer of help and today are carving out a new and good life for themselves in the lands of Mindanao. In this same project another great lesson in democracy is being taught the little people of our land. Working with the new settlement in friendly cooperation are members of the armed forces, demonstrating by actual deed that a democratic army is a people's army-not a club to be held over their cowering heads, but a force dedicated to the protection and welfare of every decent citizen of our Republic. By this policy of all-out force and all-out fellowship we are making good progress; we are fighting a winning war. 22 The November 26, 1951, Time magazine cover featuring Magsaysay has eyes all over looking at him through the jungle. This contrasts with the "magic eye" technique of the military that anonymously surveys the people to uncover Huk sympathizers. For a discussion of the "magic eye," see Jonathan Beller, Acquiring Eyes, p. 103; and Lansdale, et al., Counter-Guerrilla Operations in the Philippines, 1946-53 (Ft. Bragg, NC: US Army Special Forces Center and School, 15 June 1961). 22 Alvin Scaff, The Philippine Answer to Communism, p. vi. Scaff claims that this was a speech delivered during Bataan Day while Magsaysay was still secretary of defense. Given the general belief that Lansdale monitored and managed Magsaysay (and his public persona), it is not improbable that this speech was also Lansdale's idea. What interests me the most here is the government's rhetoric and the slippages between the "peasants" and the performative "we," "they," and "you," particularly considering Magsaysay's populist image.

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Magsaysay first suggests that the Huks work for foreign interests rather than Filipino ones. By Magsaysay's logic, if left alone, Filipino peasants would become victims of "international swindlers" that sell them "empty promises." Therefore, the state has an obligation to protect citizens from untruth. Magsaysay's position blamed outside manipulators for agrarian unrest, on the one hand, while recognizing the need to make the elite-dominated state open and accessible to its people, on the other. 23 Magsaysay's speech quoted above outlines the government's response to the Huk situation: all-out force and all-out fellowship. 24 The apparent success of this campaign became a model for counterinsurgency and anti-communist campaigns for other countries in Southeast Asia. 25 After the defeat of the Huks in the mid-1950s, Lansdale took part in "psychological operations" (PsyOps) in Vietnam, and his team conducted seminars in counterinsurgency for South Vietnamese allies at the US Army's Fort Bragg. 26 To counter the Huk rallying cry of "land for the landless," Magsaysay and Lansdale created the Economic Development Corps (EDCOR): a resettlement program for landless peasants and Huk cadres who surrendered. The military was to aid and supervise the clearing of the forest and the establishment of homestead settlements in Mindanao. Such a policy put prospective settlers at odds with the local Muslim population, but projected the idea of Mindanao as an empty land full of possibilities. The idea of using land in Mindanao to ease tenancy issues in Luzon had been part of the Philippine government's programs for some time, but it was Magsaysay and his team who made it part of the military's and government's psychological-warfare arsenal against the Huks. Furthermore, EDCOR received funding from the US government to conduct the work of rehabilitating Huk supporters and turning them into idealized, small-scale landholding farmers and enterprising homesteaders. Though the number of Huks who took advantage of EDCOR's invitation to reform was quite small, the offer itself was an important weapon in the military's public relations campaign, and the communists appeared The extensive historical work on Magsaysay himself reflects the ambiguities and contradictions of the Cold War period. Was he a puppet of Lansdale? Was he genuinely populist? Many have argued that the dissemination/invention of Magsaysay's personal integrity was crucial for the success of psychological warfare. See, for example, Donn Hart, "Magsaysay: Philippine Candidate," Far Eastern Survey 22,6 (May 1953): 67-70; Nick Cullather, "America's Boy? Ramon Magsaysay and the Illusion of Influence," Pacific Historical Review 62,3 (August 1993): 305-38; and David Wurfel, "Philippine Agrarian Reform under Magsaysay," Far Eastcm Survey 27,1 (January 1958): 7-15. 24 This contradictory offer has Magsaysay "on the one hand providing promises of land reform as a signal of the state's goodwill, while suspending the writ of habeas corpus and solidifying relations with the US military and the CIA." See John D. Blanco, "Baroque Modernity and the Colonial World," p. 9. 25 Lansdale argued, though, that the United States did not follow his advice in Viet Nam and that, after the Tet Offensive, the United States had lost any hope of winning the hearts of the people. For a sense of the regional awareness of psywar and resettlement, see Edward Lansdale, In the Midst of War (New York, NY: Fordham University Press, 1991). For military treatments, see Lawrence M. Greenberg, The Hukbalahap Insurrection: A Case Study of a Successful Anti-Insurgmcy Operation in the Philippines, 1946-1955 (Washington, DC: US Army Center of Military History, 1995); Robert Ross Smith, The Hukbalalwp Insurgency: Economic, Political, and Military Factors (Washington, DC: Office of the Chief of Military History, 1963); and LeoS. Cornish, The United States and the Philippine Hukbalahap Insurgency: 1946-1954. An Individual Study Project Report (Carlisle Barracks, PA: US Army War College, 1971). 26 See Lansdale et al., Counter-Guerrilla Operations in the Philippines, 1946-53.

23

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threatened by it. They responded by disseminating leaflets with images of EDCOR settlements as "concentration camps enclosed with barbed-wire fences, guarded by soldiers at sentry boxes, and inhabited by ex-HUKs in chains ... The whole project, they claimed, was an American idea to forestall a revolt against the weak and corrupt government." 27 Film studio LVN (De Leon Villonco Nabao Studios) and USIS produced Avellana's HUK sa Bagong Pamumuhay, with sequences filmed in an actual EDCOR village, in Lanao, perhaps to counter the communists' charges. 28 HUK sa Bagong Pamumuhay follows Magsaysay's speech in many ways. The film' s story was adapted to radio on DZFM, and the film swept the 1953 FAMAS awards, earning best picture, best director (Avellana), best actor (Jose Padilla, Jr.), and best supporting actor (Leroy Salvador) honors. 29 .J...t.,.,

./tiSE

(P~h't~~~ 1 PADILLA

CEL IA

Jr. t FLOR

Figure 1. Poster for HUK sa Bagong Pamumuhay, 1953 Scaff, The Philippine Answer to Communism, p. 112. Other films LVN produced with the aim of reinforcing government propaganda against the communists were Korea (1951), with Ninoy Aquino as scriptwriter, and Kontrabando (Contraband) (1952). A vellana' s official filmography contains five films listed as either produced or co-produced by LVN with USIS, all in 1953: Yaman ng Dukha (Wealth of the Poor), Not by Bread Alone, Maginoong Mamamayan (Noble / Honorable Citizen), Sa Hirap ng Ginhawa (In the Difficulty I Poverty of Prosperity), and Huk sa Bagong Pamumuhay (Huk in the New Life/Livelihood). Avellana also co-produced films in the region, for example, Sgt. Hassan, coproduced with P. Ramlee, in Malaya. The titles indicate the probable compensatory thrust of the films ideological work. See Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Parangal Kay Avellana (Manila: CCP Coordinating Center for Film, 1989); and http: I I pelikulaatbp.blogspot.com I 2008 I 08 I focus-on-fi Iipino-directors-lamberto-v .html (accessible as of January 13, 2010).

27

28

Avellana also directed documentary films for Lansdale and USIS in 1953 and continued to make Cold War-type films with Rolf Bayer in the 1960s. See his mention of the tension between him and LVN owner Dona Sisang de Leon, tensions caused by Lansdale's USIS activities and pay, in an interview in Dona Sisang and Filipino Movies, ed. Monina Mercado (Manila: A. R. Mercado Management Inc., 1977), p. 82. Scaff mentions that an English version of this film played "in the theaters of America" (Scaff, The Philippine Answer to Communism, p. 128).

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Francisco Benitez

FROM FARMER TO REBEL TO FARMER

HBP portrays the post-World War II travails of Carding (Jose Padilla, Jr.), who fought as a guerrilla against the Japanese. Carding's love, Trining (Celia Flor), has waited patiently for him all through the war. Meanwhile, Carding's friend and guerrilla commander, Maxie (played by a character actor who often portrayed villains, Joseph or Jose de Cordova), is a communist taking orders from outside agitators. Unknown to Carding, Maxie cheats him out of his "back pay" for fighting during the war in order to deliberately increase Carding's dissatisfaction with the government-part of a communist plan to create revolutionary conditions that necessitate armed struggle. The movie's use of the issue of back pay brings immediately to mind the discrimination experienced by Filipino veterans of World War II who, having fought on the side of the United States, were nevertheless stripped of their GI Bill of Rights benefits as a result of the Rescission Act of February 20, 1946. In the movie, the Filipino veterans' fight for recognition from the United States is not discussed. Instead, it is communist interference that denies veterans their due from the Philippines and the United States. Carding is portrayed as a genuine war hero, for whom the overwhelming difficulties of creating a post-World War II life for himself and his family become the true cause for his joining the Huk movement. In a nair-inspired sequence, Maxie receives orders from an American communist, Mac (Rolf Bayer, suggesting the historical figure of William Pomeroy), who informs him that, as true communists, they both have only one cause: the revolution. Revolution has no loyalty to any race, country, or religion, Mac reminds him. Mac tells Maxie their strategy in English: "Get enough men to lose faith in their government, get them fighting mad, and teach them the Party line because people are sick, confused. The time to strike is now." The film suggests that the confusion over post-war reconstruction and the options for Philippine modernization is the crisis within which communist ideology intervenes by introducing the "Party line," which provides an alternative narrative (albeit a false one) to that of the nationstate's. When Carding returns to civilian life, all he desires is to live a life of dignity and financial security on the family farm with the ever-supportive Trining. Selfsufficient, small family farms are presented as the basis of a Filipino democratic ideal: the means to a life of dignity, noble labor, and autonomy that allows the individual to avoid class oppression. In a pastoral sequence reminiscent of picturesque paintings by Fernando Amorsolo and accompanied by folk music, Carding, his brother, and his brother-in-law work the land together as a family. But sweat and labor, even of a united family working together, are not enough to realize the idyll of an almost Jeffersonian yeoman citizenry in the Philippines. The need for capital forces Carding and his brother to borrow against their land, with the understanding that either the harvest or Carding's back wages will pay for the mortgage. Carding's back pay never comes. When a storm wipes out their harvest the same night Carding's son is born, the family forfeits their only inheritance. When the moneylender comes to take possession of the land, Carding assaults him in an ensuing altercation and becomes wanted by the police. Maxie then invites Carding to go to the hills and join the Huks, presenting them first and foremost as nationalists fighting for the oppressed who have no other recourse within the system. Cardinga brave and honorable example of a Filipino peasant man of action who believes he is still at war-joins the Huks and quickly rises within their ranks, even as he becomes increasingly aware of their cruelty.

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Each Huk encounter with government forces is shown to cause greater hardships for civilians. Images of suffering women and orphaned children end each exciting fight sequence. After Trining's innocent parents are killed in a Huk attack, Carding is finally captured through the actions of his brother-in-law and comrade-at-arms, Hesus (Leroy Salvador). Newspapers of the time were full of stories about Huk children abandoned by their parents, about soldiers caring for civilians, and about children and families suffering because of the rebellion? 0 Avellana is clear: the peace of civil society, the community created by religion, a "bourgeois" domesticity cast as autonomous from the state, and the lives of innocents-family members-are bound to be destroyed, for these are the costs of revolution. In accordance with Lansdale and Magsaysay's campaign, HBP portrays the state's relationship to the people positively, so that the "old army of persecution became the army with a social conscience; the government of the landed aristocracy became the government concerned with the welfare of the people." 31 The film's subtext does not propose changing or addressing either the structural contradictions inherent within the capitalist system or the system's relationship to the maintenance of feudal-like relations. Rather, it advocates making the system work better, since it has not benefited those whom it was meant to help. It recognizes the Huk sympathizer's lament and puts the blame on interfering communists who make the already difficult situation of post-war rebuilding worse. The government here is shown to be responsive to the needs of its people, as EDCOR and Mindanao are offered as escape valves for the social issues of central Luzon (which the scene with the landowning class in the movie itself brings up). In an interesting exchange with army officials conducted in English after his capture, Carding admits to fighting for the Huks, not because he believed in the Communist Manifesto, but only because they promised to give him the opportunities that he always desired. The military promises to give him what the Huks had promised but could not provide: land and the opportunity to start anew in peace. The military sends him to an EDCOR site, where Carding clears the forest, begins to make a life for his family and himself as a homesteader, and eventually gets elected mayor-finally able to realize his goals of dignity and agrarian self-sufficiency in a recognizably idealized Filipino community. The sequences that show Carding cutting down the forest are the counterpoint to the particularly dramatic sequence earlier of Carding's struggle to save his storm-ravaged crop at the precise moment his son is born. Here is what the liberal individual is meant to do: struggle against nature to better himself and the future of his children. The conquest or mastery of nature, however, requires capital and familial labor, which in tum requires the aid of the state and the community. Here, the individual has to be provided with equal opportunities to struggle in life in order to have dignity and hope. EDCOR seemingly provides an opportunity to realize the authentic individual self's quest for dignity, cleared of the baggage of social history. Out of this opening comes functioning local elections and Filipino bourgeois domesticity. See Vina Lanzona's Amazons of the Huk Rebellion for a discussion of anti-Huk government propaganda about family life in the newspapers and of gender relations within the movement itself. The film later on uses the very issue of gendered domesticity and family to combat the seductions of communist ideology. It is interesting to note that it is the male protagonist that is at the center of Avellana's exploration of a liberal ideology of citizenship. Alternative readings from the extremely important female characters is reserved for another time. 31 Scaff, The Philippine Answer to Communism, p. 129.

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Francisco Benitez

One day, Maxie arrives at Carding's EDCOR homestead as an agent provocateur and seeks Carding's help. Carding responds with: "This is real. Here I have rice, land, a house, a home, and, most importantly, the knowledge that I am now counted among the people with honor and dignity. Here I have a church in which to pray, and my son has a school." 32 HBP thus stages the ad vantages enjoyed by citizens when the state recognizes civil society under a liberal democracy. In EDCOR settlements, citizens benefit from the peace and order of civic society, but the state benefits as well, for it is taught to be more responsive to its citizenry, a precondition of peace and order. In the film, EDCOR provides Carding, an ex-Huk, with food, property, domestic happiness, religion, education, a voice in government, and the honor and dignity of working to better himself: the basics of a bourgeois life in civil society-albeit a civil society not juxtaposed to but dependent on the state. 33 But Maxie is not impressed. Calling on their past friendship and camaraderie during the war, Maxie tries to convince Carding that it is all government propaganda. But Trining' s demand for domestic happiness, for a family life-the requirements of sexual and social reproduction-convince Carding otherwise. The film ends with Carding, after Trining threatens to leave him should he return to communism, finally choosing the side of the government and capturing Maxie. The rehabilitated Huk is shown to be the best agent of the government; the "truth" of EDCOR, bolstered by the common-sense structures of Filipino social and sexual reproduction, has inoculated Carding from future contamination from Maxie's propaganda, as Crisol and Magsaysay would have wished. From the very first shot, the film announces that both the site of struggle and the subject struggling in the film are embodied in Carding: the terrain of struggle is his inner world and the prize is his loyalty to the nation-state. The film's first diegetic image is that of a hand grenade about to be thrown. The camera follows the arc of the hand as it pulls back, the image transforming into a head shot of Carding from below as he exerts himself against a still unseen foe. It is only after this establishing shot that we see we are in an exciting action sequence, which portrays a guerrilla battle against the Japanese. With efficient narrative economy, Avellana references both the still deeply felt trauma of the guerrilla, as well as the valor and courage of the Huks. Carding is saved from a Japanese soldier by Maxie, and Carding receives a scar on his face that functions as a bodily reminder, not only of his suffering while fighting for the cause of freedom against Japanese fascism, but also of his camaraderie with and debt of gratitude to fellow guerrilla and commanding officer, Maxie. Huks who fought in World War II were considered nationalists, and the populace remembered their heroism against the Japanese. The film celebrates the courage of these Huks as Filipino men of action united in common cause and suggests that Filipinos who supported the Huk cause after the war did so because they were living desperate lives under hard conditions. Thus, whereas many communists at that time felt that these very circumstances made radical change imminent, and that the people's "common sense" would connect material conditions to a revolutionary situation that only needed a catalyst-the communists-to The translation from Tagalog is mine: "Ito'y tunay. Dito, meron akong bigas, lupa, bahay, tahanan, at higit sa lahat ay ang kaalaman na ako'y nabibilang na ngayon sa mga taong may puri at dangal. Dito meron akong simbahang dalanganan. Meron isang paaralan para sa aking anak."

32

3' The scene of the EDCOR local elections where Carding wins as mayor, with the army acting as vote counters, is significant in this regard.

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explode, the film instead links the desire to escape the difficulties of modernization and post-war rebuilding with images of bourgeois civil and domestic life, suggesting that those could only be achieved under liberal democracy. Furthermore, the film makes this articulation appear as "common sense" bolstered by the wife and mother's desire for peace. It is, the film suggests, the "international swindle" by communists and the unresponsiveness of older feudal relations to the needs of reconstruction that turned those patriots into unwitting tools of a foreign power. The government, on the other hand, responds appropriately to patriots' needs by providing EDCOR settlements as havens and an escape valve to social stresses. The film proposes the small family farm ideal, united by bonds of community and religion, as the basis of a democratic Filipino citizenry. The government's responsiveness to the needs of the landless in the film provides them with an alternative to Locsin's hyena and tiger: it turns them into a liberal agrarian bourgeoisie. 34 This is presented as the appropriate response to the convergence of conjunctural historical forces, triggered by "a few errant individuals, foreign agitators, and the laws of fate." 35 According to this interpretation, HBP is not simply a USIS-funded propaganda film. It is an attempt by a major Filipino director to produce a filmic style that articulated Magsaysay's challenge that the populace be immunized from future Huk infection and the nationstate saved from international communism. Avellana's masterful use of camera angles coupled with editing for continuity results in a Filipino naturalist/ realist filmic aesthetic that borrowed from documentary techniques, creating what Jose Capino calls the "docudrama" of the Cold War period. 36 Capino argues that, like the other documentaries that USIS disseminated during this period, HBP combined the aesthetics of documentary with those of melodrama in order to graft a hybrid vision of the Cold War that was in accordance with the dominant anti-communist line of USIS. For Capino, the "combination of the melodramatic narrative's stylistic excesses with the authoritative truth-telling apparatus of the documentary seems especially suited to the task of both staging and legitimizing the hyperbolized, totalizing rhetoric of the red scare. 1137 Such hybridity, Capino argues, is used by Avellana to peddle a historically recognizable but insidiously perverted view of the rebellion. By placing the blame on a few errant individuals, foreign agitators, and the laws of fate, Avellana exonerates the oppressive tenancy system that engendered the insurgency ... It was not a matter of selling fact using the techniques of fiction but of selling the fiction of communist aggression using a fictive discourse fortified with the aura of facticity. 38 This image has a long history in the Philippines, particularly under the US regime. It continued under such rural development projects as the Samaka Guide, for example. 35 Jose Capino, "Prosthetic Hysteria: Staging the Cold War in Filipino/ American Docudrama," Plaridel: A Journal of Philippine Communication, Media, and Society 1,1 (2004): 13. 36 Capino, "Prosthetic Hysteria," pp. 1-14. Avellana also directed quite a few actual documentaries. 37 Ibid., p. 2. 38 Ibid., p. 13. It is arguable, as Capino himself mentions, that the presence of the Huks made Cold War ideology far more palpable and pertinent in the Philippines than in the United States. The Huks' armed struggle validated the fear of communist threat by its very successes. The Huks' presence meant that Cold War "hysteria" did not need to be drummed up out of 34

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Francisco Benitez

The aura of facticity is also the aura of the film medium itself, as Avellana attempts to re-enchant the world with fantasies and narratives about the struggling individual. Indeed, Carding is not originally a landless peasant, but a small landholder. A guerrilla fighter during World War II, he was never a communist. The impression given by the film is that Carding's loss of land is a result primarily of money-hungry elites and communist manipulation that takes away the individual's capacity to struggle successfully against nature for survival. Individual Filipinos crave the peace and order of simple village life, a life that is now available to them in Mindanao-a space where older social structures can be bypassed and a functioning liberal democratic Filipino way of life can be created. The film style in HBP situates the camera at a distance from the action, framed by objects in the mise-en-scene, or else shooting odd-angle, mid-level shots that provide the viewer with unusual points-of-view. Such shots layer the gaze of the spectator and disrupt any easy identification of the spectator with the actors. The consequence is that, while the audience is made aware of watching a scene unfolding, the position of the spectator is anchored spatially and solidified as if he or she were physically present within the shot, separated from the action. As Avellana explains, "I don't use camera effects to achieve my end. I hate camera effects. I make my camera as steady as possible. Because whenever it moves, it should always be meaningful." 39 His decision to choose his shots in the way is both economical, as it reduces the number of camera set-ups necessary, as well as a consequence of Avellana's theatrical training. He prefers the use of long-angle shots that constitute the gaze of a stationary voyeur spectator who can serve as witness to the film's narrative and ideological propositions. Because the audience serves as a witness to the man of action in the film, this technique confers on the hero an air of objectivity, as if he were a person in a documentary, rather than an actor. A vellana' s filmic style then attempts to produce a stable and coherent standpoint or perspective. Ideologically, this standpoint is grafted onto a heroic narrative of a Filipino national citizen subject struggling against forces of modernization. A vellana' s hero struggles against the forces of nature, revolutionary violence, and landowner greed in order to recreate a Filipino way of life after the trauma of the war. Rebuilding after the catastrophe of war and the search for authenticity are also the themes of Avellana's neo-realist classic, Anak Dalita. NOBILITY IN THE RAW

Filmed against the wishes of L VN owner Dona Sisang, who generally preferred escapist fare, Avellana's Anak Dalita won the best-picture award at the 1956 AsiaPacific Film Festival. The film, which is about post-war urban poverty and was shot on location in the ruins of an old church in an Intramuros flattened by US liberation forces, was marketed as "makatotolzanan, tulad ng bulzay" (realistic, like life). It was not meant to facilitate escape from the dilemmas of urban poverty, but to reference them directly. As Avellana admits, "I like reality in-depth. That's probably why I never nonexistent threats. It could be given form and be comprehended as external communist intervention into Philippine life through the action of Huks rather than as a consequence of development policies and neocolonial structural inequalities. 39 Avellana, "Portrait of a Director," in Parangal Para Kay Avellana, p. 52.

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made a good Robinson Crusoe or a good Seven Dwarfs movie! I like to see dirt in nobility-in its rawest form." 40 In this film, Avellana presents not dirt in nobility, but nobility in the slums. Here, too, one can read the struggle for models of exemplary behavior that reaffirm law-abiding and God-fearing citizens of the nation-state.

Figure 2. Poster for Anak Dalita, 1953

Anak Dalita explores the lives of Korean War hero and veteran Vic (Tony Santos, Sr.) and slum-dwelling prostitute Cita (Rosa Rosal) as they strive to maintain faith in the values of country and church, and struggle to rebuild in the aftermath of the trauma of war. Vic was severely injured during the war and received a medal for "bravery in the line of duty." He returned from Korea just in time to see his mother before she died. Before the war, Vic was a sculptor, and his handicap becomes an obstacle in the broken man's search for dignity, wholeness, and coherence in a profane world. Padre Fidel (Vic Silayan) gives Vic an opportunity to earn an honest livelihood by commissioning him to fix the church's sacred statues damaged during the war. Fidel articulates the crisis of authenticity in modernity when he declares to Vic his desire that the people regain a wholeness (mabuo ang looban) that had been lost in the war so that they may recover a sense of a future. 41 Vic struggles to 40

Ibid., p . 51.

"Nais ko na mabuo ang katawan at looban ng mga taong nawasak nitong nakaraang digmaan upang m abalik sa kanilang pag-iisip n a sila'y m ay hinaharap, may kinabukasan" (I

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Francisco Benitez

compensate for his loss of an arm, but slowly succeeds in repairing religious statues and his sense of dignity. To supplement his income, however, Vic works at night for Cardo (once again played by Jose de Cordova), an army friend and now (significantly) a Chinatown nightclub owner with ties to the underworld. 42 Carda's aura as a character engaged in shady illegal deals and transgressions against the state (as well as the allusions to Chinatown activities) make him an analog for the fear of both communism (tiger) and uncontrollable monetary greed (hyena) that threaten the Filipino nation-state's normative order.+3 Cordova's Cardo represents pure greed as he convinces Vic that the world works only through money. Cardo tells Vic that money knows no morality. At one point, he hands Vic a bundle of cash and challenges him to identify which bills are clean and which ones are dirty. Money, Cardo argues, is only an instrument for one's desires, but one that provides status and mobility-both provide some sort of empowerment. The source of money is less relevant than the power it has to provide for survival. In the quest for survival, money's origins are bracketed out, and the market relations that organize social maps are not to be questioned or critiqued. Cita, too, works for Cardo, and knows that Cardo's world is immoral and illegal, and undermines the state. Her body, however, is the only resource she has for survival; she represents the fallen woman in need of salvation through the intervention of a noble man of action. She attaches herself to Vic as a man whose patriotism, integrity, and honor can serve as an anchor. She sees him and his love as her salvation, as her key to rising above her material struggles for survival. In Anak Dalita, it is unclear which war is being discussed during conversations about post-war reconstruction. Consequently, the metaphor of ruin merges World War II with the Korean War as one single battle. Suggesting that the Cold War is a condition of constant crisis and continuous war, the film foregrounds Philippine modernity and portrays Filipinos as a people searching for appropriate models of modernization in the face of a disastrous sort of modernity characterized by ruin, disaster, and crisis. The film proposes the value of "honest" and legal labor under the guidance of religion as the ideology of the dignified poor appropriate for these conditions. John D. Blanco reads Nick Joaquin's drama Portrait of the Artist as Filipino as an affirmation of free will in artistic practice that questions both American imperial discourse that defers modernization as well as nationalist reactions to neocolonial relations after independence. 44 Anak Dalita presents a similar situation of wish that the people's bodies and inner spirits [looban] that were destroyed by the past war be made whole, in order to return to their thinking that they have something to look forward to, that they have a future). These lines are delivered significantly in an empty crypt of the church. 42 LVN's 1950 Kontrabando, for example, portrays communism as an ideology illegally smuggled into the islands by foreigners along networks much like those in Cardo's underworld. The films opens with a map of the world divided between communism and democracy, and its plot follows a secret agent infiltrating these smuggling networks. 43 Teodoro Locsin's article begins with a discussion of Spengler, and the idea that unbridled commercialism, lust for money, and rampant materialism signal the beginning of democracy's decline. See his "The Tiger and the Hyena." 44 See John Blanco, "Baroque Modernity and the Colonial World," pp. 6-33. Avellana made a film version of Portrait in 1966, with his wife, Daisy Hontiveros Avellana, in the starring role of Candida Marasigan.

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disenchantment. It also asks: what from the past could be useful in responding to the needs of the present and the future? Unlike Joaquin's drama, however, the film returns the viewer to the values of the past that were lost during the war: the love of the heterosexual couple, the protection of religion and communal I national bonds, and the honor of the toiling individual as the basis for hope. Avellana makes the ruins of the Intramuros only tangentially about the struggle among the forces of fascism, communism, and liberalism. Instead, it is the field of suffering in postwar Manila on which Vic needs to survive and to choose his path. Can continuity of faith provide guidance in a shattered world that constitutes neocolonial Philippine modernity? As in Huk sa Bagong Pamumulzay, the crucial struggle in Anak Dalita takes place within the individual and concerns his choice of nationalist or patriotic ethos. The film suggests that individuals must respond to the reification of life and the instrumentalization of labor and bodies that typify modernity by struggling for something beyond base material survival. Anak Dalita opens with an image of the ruined belfry of the church that forms the setting for the film. As in the opening image of the grenade-toss in HBP, a long panning sequence guides the eye from the belfry to the people going about their morning business. We see the ordinary quotidian vitality of a neighborhood that is subsisting under the shadow of the church ruins. The milieu of the church itself, as a ruin filmed in Italian "neorealist" style, is the disenchanted space in need of hope. Religion reinforces a morality that lies within the confines of national custom and the law. The music of Francisco Santiago's 1916 kundiman, 45 "Anak Dalita," connects the vision of Intramuros' destruction with musical supplication that demands the viewer recognize the suffering poor's need for pity (awa), fellowship, and hope. The music's supplication supplements the documentary power of the neorealist sequences and fills it with an emotive charge that demands the recognition of the plight of the poor. The music, associ a ted with suffering and resistance during the US colonial period, provides a certain authority to the construction of the urban poor as the "folk" whose lives have been a permanent struggle. It articulates long-standing structures of feelings about oppression, poverty, and continued survival and relates these feelings to the narrative of a Korean War veteran rebuilding a life amidst the disaster of Cold War Manila. In the famous neorealist-inspired opening sequence, we see Cita returning from work in the early morning as she makes her way through the shantytown. Her black evening dress contrasts with the impoverished surroundings and what we imagine to be the lives of its residents, who are just awakening. The church is an empty shell, within which lives a community of squatters who have built their shanties against the remains and who struggle to find hope amidst the poverty. At one point in the film, Padre Fidel announces that the church is to be rebuilt and the community must be relocated as soon as funds are found. The Padre conjoins faith and hope that God will provide for the poor. In a twist of fate, Padre Fidel wishes to send Vic to Hong Kong with a statue of the virgin that Vic has refurbished. Cardo latches onto this plan as an opportunity to escape the country (and the state currency regulations) with his money. Like the ruins of the church within which the community has carved out its own public space, the statue is made hollow in order to hide Cardo's wealth and to let it escape the surveillance of the state. No one, he says, would suspect that a A kundiman is a musical style that has become closely associated with love ballads, Filipino music, and national resistance.

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religious statue could be an instrument of evil desires, a vessel for amoral money. The conjunction of religion and money deploys the motif of a disjunction between appearance and essence, between inner truths and outer forms, caused by the disaster of modernization. The shells of the churcr, the statue, and the man parallel each other. The inner value and worth of each is juxtaposed with the question of money. The proffered value lies in choosing nobility and honor in the face of immorality and illegality, of choosing faithfulness to the law in the face of that which attempts to transgress the strictures of the nation-state. Revolutionary struggle is not an option here. Instead, the film proposes loyalty to the state and church as the path back to a decent, happy, communitarian, Filipino way of life. In the end, as the Padre suggests, God will provide. Unknown to Vic and Cardo, Cita has taken Cardo's money and hidden it under another statue at the church. Again, as in HBP, the woman helps the man recognize the naturalness of social structures and bourgeois morality and to see them as the appropriate choices. In the film's dramatic conclusion, Cardo and Vic battle for the money while Vic strives to protect Cita and her brother. At the end, Cita's young brother is dead and Cardo is dying amidst the rubble of the church, with his money strewn among the debris. Cardo gives Padre Fidel the money as penance for his sins, and the Padre uses Carda's money to buy land for the community-thereby, in fact, proving Cardo's point about money's function in the world. Money-capital, even if ill-gotten-is necessary and can provide the basis of a good life when used properly. The money must stay within the confines of the nation-state to benefit the many rather than the few, and radical social changes are not necessary if money can be redirected to satisfy the needs of the poor, who, in turn, remain nobly loyal to the state despite the demands of survival. The film ends as the people march out of the shadows of the church towards their new future, again to the affective music of "Anak Dalita." An aerial shot of the church as the people walk to their future homes finally provides us with a sense of the true scale of the church. The church's magnitude suggests that the hold of the religious past on the people is a grand and good thing. Although in ruins, the church prefigures the new cathedral that will rise in its place. It is significant that we do not see this new cathedral, empty of the people who once lived within the ruins of the former church, but simply anticipate its future existence. SAGIPIN ANG BAGONG BADJAO! (SAVE THE NEW BADJA0) 46

While HBP and Anak Dalita clearly feature Cold War conflicts as part of their settings, Avellana's 1957 ethnic Romeo and Juliet romance, Badjao, would seem to be anything but a Cold War film. (Badjao, or orang laut, is a name for sea gypsies.) The story revolves around the love story of Hassan (Tony Santos), the son and heir of a Badjao chief, and Bala Amai (Rosa Rosal), the niece of the Tausug datu (chief), Tahil (again, Jose de Cordova). The Badjao, who are renowned for their pearl-diving, live in boats that ply the waters of the Sulu Sea. The Tausug are Muslim rulers of Sulu who claim suzerainty over the area and over the Badjao. In the film, the Tausug's 16 Quoted from the opening and ending of Badjao: this is the cry sounded by members of the Badjao, calling on all villagers to save the infant who has been thrown into the ocean to initiate him into the community. Here the infant needs to be accepted and saved by the community's members, who will then bear responsibility for it.

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social superiority over the Badjao means that Hassan's love for BaJa Amai requires proof of his valor and skill as a pearl diver. Hassan must fetch rare blue pearls for Tahil and convert to Islam in order to marry Bala Amai. Hassan kills Jikiri (Vic Silayan), one of Tahil's lieutenants, who desires to know the secret location of the rare pearls. Hassan thereafter marries Bala Amai, leaves the nomadic life of the Badjao, and settles on land as a farmer. However, Ishmael, a pearl trader, comes and buys Hassan's pearls from Datu Tahil and challenges him to obtain more. Hyena-like greed spurs Tahil to pressure Hassan to return to the sea. When Hassan refuses, Tahil' s men burn his farm the same night that Bala Amai gives birth to a son. After confronting and shaming Tahil, Hassan chooses to return to his tribe with Bala Amai and his newborn son. It would seem from the plot summary that Badjao is an odd choice to explore the nuances of Cold War culture. The film is distinguished by an exotic and timeless aura, with its story apparently untouched by contemporary historical issues such as modernization and political ideology, and it implicitly claims to be occupied with universal and existential structures-issues of authenticity and freedom. But it is this ahistorical quality that makes the work more ideologically marked. Aileen Toohey argues that the visualization of ethnic difference in Bndjao serves to convey a certain sense of nationality and nationalism. 47 These nationalist concerns i Chau's people and convey the hero's strong-minded patriotism. The sculptor was Le Thanh Nhcm, who graduated from the Fine Arts College of Saigon in 1964.63 Due to a battle injury, he was discharged from the army and resumed his art practice while teaching at the Tr'an Nguyen Han (? - 1429) was an aristocrat of the Tr'an Dynasty, but then became a general in Le Lqi's army, which was sent to fight and defeat the Ming invasion. Tr'an Nguyen Han, therefore, contributed to the founding of the Le Dynasty, which was started by Le LQ'i

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(1384-1433).

In the old times, carrier pigeons were trained to deliver mail, especially during wartime. A city on the Mekong Delta, 120 kilometers southwest of Saigon. 63 For more about Le Thanh Nhcm, read Huynh Boi Tran, "Le Thanh Nhon: Portrait of an Emigre," TAASA Review 11,4 (December 2002): 12-13. 61

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Fine Arts College of Saigon, the Fine Arts College of Hue, and the Community University of Nha Trang.

Figure 7. Mai Chung, Th e War

Figure 8. Le Thanh Nha n, bust of Phan B9i Chau

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As portrayed in this work, the spirit of Phan B{li Chau signifies Vietnamese nationalism and the nation's desire for modernization. Similarly, Le Thanh Nhan's process of creating the bust represents an unwavering determination that should be recorded in Vietnam's official art history. When the clay bust was completed in 1972, many people in Hue were delighted, and some Americans offered Nhan financial support for the casting, but he declined those funds. Friends in Hue initiated an alternative fund-raising plan, the "drop of bronze" campaign, which asked people to collect and donate bronze bullet shells. The influential composer Trinh Cong San became involved in the campaign, and his plea to university students was met with a very positive response, because to them Phan B9i Chau's spirit meant Hue and vice versa. South Vietnam's student movement in the early 1970s was a significant political force, particularly in Hue, where an emerging Buddhist-led protest movement was most active. Eventually, the "drop of bronze" campaign was embraced by a Vietnamese military officer, who organized the collecting of tons of spent bullet shells for the casting. In both representation and process, Le Thanh Nhctn's monument project was consistent with a strong community identity. The war recruited many talented artists into its ruthless machine against their will. Le Thanh Nhctn, Ductng Van Hung, Hie'u D~, Mai Chung, Ngy Cao Nguyen, Trinh Cung, and Dinh CuO'ng, to mention a few, were recruited into the army. Others, such as Nguy~n Trung, Nguyen Khai, and D6 Quang Em, avoided conscription. However, all of these individuals, despite their different backgrounds, had a similar mind-set. Any one of them might have stated: "The war is not the place where we want to be." Nguyen Khai explained: "Art for art's sake is our thinking; we stayed out of the army in order to make art." 64 No matter how war-weary Vietnamese Southerners became, everyone had to bear the harsh reality of a mounting death toll. In 1965, an ARVN cemetery was established along the Bien Hoa-Saigon Highway. A commission was granted to Nguy~n Thanh Thu, enabling him to conceive his four-meter bronze memorial to fallen Southern soldiers. At the front gate of the cemetery in 1966, this commemorative monument, Lamentation, was installed, depicting a seated ARVN soldier with a rifle resting on his lap, pondering his colleagues who had not survived. 65 Lamentation is a monument with a serene reflective spirit, representing an inwardly expressed loss. However, after 1975, the new socialist society did not stand for "individualistic art" or commemorative memorials by the vanquished, and Lamentation was demolished, leaving a void of unmourned death. CONCLUSION Art practice in the Republic of Vietnam was obviously carried out under the burden of war. However, Saigonese artists enjoyed greater freedom to follow their artistic interests than did their Northern counterparts, and this freedom benefited them. While socialist realism, taught by Russian lecturers, was the only canon that prevailed in Northern Vietnamese art schools/6 South Vietnam retained complete Nguyen Khai, interview by the author, June 2008. See more in "The Wandering Statue," unknown author, online at http:/ /www.vietquoc. com/thngtiec.htm, last accessed January 7, 2010. 66 Thai Ba Van mentioned names of Russian teachers at the Vietnam Fine Art College in Hanoi in his article "Nguy~n Phan CMnh va Chai 6 An Quan" [Nguy€n Phan Chanh and Girls Playing with Game of Pebbles], My Tlzu~t TP H6 Chi Minh 6,12 (1992): 11. 64 65

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autonomy in art education and practice. The marked independence and vitality of the artistic developments in South Vietnam during this era are not documented in the official Vietnamese art history of today's Vietnam. Representations of peace, hope, and love are the major themes in Southern art, reflecting the desperation of a generation caught between both sides of the war. Influenced by the anti-war movement and ideas about neutrality, Southern artists refused to commit to being "artist-soldiers/ soldier-artists," the role adopted by their Northern colleagues, when they commenced searching for ways out of socialist realism. While this essay compares some features of the visual arts practiced in the former states of North and South Vietnam, it is not meant as a judgment of which was more significant. Rather, it aims to point out some of their major differences and to reveal part of a hidden or lost cultural heritage that should be acknowledged in official Vietnamese histories. Sadly, the former Republic of South Vietnam's failure to construct a fine arts museum and the destruction of significant Southern monuments after the fall of Saigon have created a momentous gap in Vietnam's national art history. Due to war and migration, most surviving artworks from the Republic of Vietnam are scattered throughout the world, and a complete history of Vietnamese art produced during the Vieb1am/ American war remains to be written.

COLD WAR RHETORIC AND THE BODY: PHYSICAL CULTURES IN EARLY SOCIALIST LAOS Simon Creak1

The Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) took power in Laos in December 1975, ending the thirty-year "revolutionary struggle" and ushering in an authoritarian one-party state. While the rise of the socialists ended one battle framed by the Cold War, it heralded another, as the new regime turned its attention to the political, economic, and cultural I ideological spheres. The last of these-the "revolution in culture and ideology" -aimed to build a "new socialist person" as "prerequisite" for the construction of socialism. Strong and healthy, the new socialist person was defined by physical as well as behavioral and moral characteristics, and a mass sport and physical culture movement was instituted to build the new person. The socialist concern with physicality also had an impact on the country in more profound and unexpected ways, first by privileging the corporeal over the intellectual, and, second, by constructing a cosmology of socialist change expressed in physical metaphors and idiom. On various levels of practice and understanding, post-1975 Laos was a physical culture framed by a Cold War mentality that posited the superiority of the socialist person. Socialist physical culture was by no means the first in Laos to link the physical form to concern with progress and identity. The French introduced widespread "physical instruction and military preparation" movements to Indochina in the 1920s, in response to perceived "physical deficiencies" in the colonies. While Laos saw less development than other parts of Indochina, basic sport and physical education programs emerged in the major towns along the Mekong River. These stemmed from an understanding that, as distinct from existing notions of physicality, perceived physical health and fitness as a crucial tenet of colonial development. 2 1 The author acknowledges the generous comments and suggestions of Tony Day, Craig Reynolds, Philip Taylor, and an anonymous reviewer. 2 For more on this period in Laos, see Simon Creak, "'Body Work': A History of Sport and Physical Culture in Colonial and Postcolonial Laos" (PhD dissertation, Australian National University, 2010). For Indochina more generally, see A. Larcher-Goscha, "Sport, colonialisme, et identites nationales: Premieres approches du 'corps a corps colonial' en Indochine (1918-

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Colonial efforts intensified in the sport and youth programs of Vichy Indochina (1941-45), which adapted Petainist ideas linking body and empire. These ideas and practices were further adapted to the purpose of nation-building in the postcolonial Kingdom of Laos (1949-75), especially in the 1960s when the National Games were founded and Laos competed regularly in the South-East Asian Peninsula (SEAP) Games. 3 While both men and women were involved, pre-socialist programs were heavily gendered. In the 1940s, women's exercises and training regimes were modified considerably to fit with the Vichy French Empire's gender essentialism, particularly the obsession with protecting the reproductive system. Postcolonial physical cultures were also gendered. If the strength of human bodies emerged as a metaphor for national strength, it was the male body that. counted. Women's bodies stood for tradition. Far from rejecting these programs as a colonial imposition, Lao populations embraced physical culture and physical training-known in Lao as kainyakam and kainyaborihan-as the fields became established as important elements of the formal education system, military training, and specialized youth cadre schools. While the nature of these institutions meant physical culture was stronger in Laos's expanding towns and cities than in rural areas, this focus on developing the body was much more than a narrow concern for local elites. Socialist physical culture derived, at least in part, from these foundations. The glorifying of physical labor, for instance, had precursors in Vichy discourses on work, and there was nothing original in the idea of cultivating bodies to build the nation. Nevertheless, the party projected the physical dimensions of building the socialist person as wholly and virtuously novel, as indicated by the ubiquitous use of the modifier "new" (mai). Despite the continuities, the Marxist-Leninist roots of socialist physical culture as it emerged in Laos demonstrated a degree of truth to this claim. SOCIALIST PHYSICAL CULTURE AND RHETORIC

While communist sport is often remembered for Cold War Olympic rivalries between East and West, a more significant dimension was the evolution of what historian James Riordan has called a "model of sport or 'physical culture' for a modernizing community."" This paradigm sought to boost labor productivity, national defense, health and hygiene, female emancipation, integration of minorities, and foreign relations. In other words, socialist sport was characterized by an instrumental logic concerned with nation-building; it was "an agent of social change 1945)," in De l'lndochine cll'Algerie: Lajeunesse en Mouvements des Deux Cotes du Miroir Colonial, ed. Nicolas Bancel and Denis Y. Fates (Paris: Editions la Decouverte, 2003). 3 For Vichy Indochina, see Eric Jennings, Vichy in the Tropics: Petain 's National Revolution in Madagascar, Guadeloupe, and Indochina, 1940-1944 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001); and A. Raffin, Youth Mobilization in Vichy Indochina and Its Legacies, 1940 to 1970 (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2005). For postcolonial Laos, see Simon Creak, "Sport and the Theatrics of Power in a Postcolonial State: The National Garnes of 1960s Laos," Asian Studies Review 34,2 (2010): 191-210; and Simon Creak, "Representing True Laos in Postcolonial Southeast Asia: Regional Perspectives on Lao Sport," in Sport across Asia: Politics, Cultures, and Identities, ed. Katrin Brornber, Birgit Krawietz, and Joseph Maguire (New York, NY: Routledge, forthcoming). 4 J. Riordan, "The Impact of Communism on Sport," in The International Politics of Sport in the Twentieth Century, ed. J. Riordan and A. Kruger (London and New York, NY: E&FN Spoon, Taylor, and Francis, 1999), p. 48.

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with the state as pilot.'' 5 Despite anticolonial and anticapitalist critiques raised earlier in the twentieth century, this was not so very different from the nation-building impulses of "bourgeois" sport in the West, though the level of utilitarianism was perhaps greater. The increased instrumentality of socialist sport derived in part from the theoretical foundations of "physical culture" in Marxist and Leninist thought. Soviet socialism viewed physical culture as an inherent part of the cultural sphere, itself a component of superstructure. Specifically, "physical culture" -of which sport was one part-combined with "mental culture" to form "creative culture" (an element of "ideology"). 6 This view of culture emanated from Marxian materialism, which rejected the sharp dualism of mind and matter and, in particular, stressed the importance of the latter vis-a-vis the former? Though Marx had had little to say about sport or physical culture, he advocated physical education and, most of all, work, which he viewed as a site where people, as physical beings, "start, regulate, and control the material reactions between themselves and nature.'' 8 Lenin wrote more than Marx about sport and physical education, especially its role in the "allround development of all members of society." 9 He also added an emphasis on building character and the human spirit, highlighting advantages similar to those espoused in nineteenth-century muscular Christianity in England, which helps to account for similarities in the instrumental aspects of socialist and "bourgeois" sport. 10 These Marxist-Leninist theoretical foundations provided a philosophical and historical basis for sport and physical culture throughout the modernizing socialist world. In Laos, however, while signs of these roots were evident, physical culture was never promoted in such a structured fashion. Rather, the key to understanding physical culture in the country emerged in post-liberation notions of the "new socialist person" (khan mai sangkhomninyom) and the related field of "upgrading culture" (bamlung vatthannatham), both of which were informed by a visceral ideological backlash against the previous "capitalist" society. Grant Evans critiques the notion of the "new socialist man" in Laos, a figure that I will call the "new socialist person," in keeping with the Lao term. 11 "Adaptions and change," Evans writes, "have a logic that is too complex to be prefigured in teleological ideas like new socialist man." In particular, Evans finds no evidence of spontaneous peasant cooperation in socialist Laos, an attribute of the new socialist person that the party-state presented as evidence of the possibility of collectivizing Ibid., p. 49. Other elements of physical culture included physical education, "active leisure pursuits," and "playful activities." For a schematic of the Soviet Marxist view of sport in society, see James Riordan, Sport, Politics, and Communism (Manchester and New York, NY: Manchester University Press, 1991), p. 30. 7 Ibid., p. 20. 8 Karl Marx, Capital, vol. 1 (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1961), p. 177. Cited in Riordan, Sport, Politics, and Communism, p. 21. 9 V. I. Lenin, Polnoyc sobranie sochineni, vol. 6 (Moscow: Politizdat, 1968), p. 232. Cited in Riordan, Sport, Politics, and Communism, p. 25. Original emphasis. 10 Riordan, Sport, Politics, and Communism, p. 25. 11 As khon is usually ungendered in Lao, "person" seems a more accurate translation of khan as it would have been understood, even if "man" has been used to translate the term elsewhere. Most importantly, women as well as men were part of the ideal, as discussed below. 5 6

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agriculture. Instead, he finds the agency ascribed to the new socialist person legitimated social transformation under the guiding hand of "a vanguard party that claims to be the source of truth and wisdom." Evans does not pursue the latter point in any detail, but he proposes that the ideology of the new socialist person, above all, provided "a rationalization for the leading role of the party." 12 This was no doubt true, but Evans, whose interests lie in explaining the failure of collectivization, does not take the next step of exploring what the resulting rhetoric accomplished. Here I undertake a different kind of analysis of the new socialist person, one that explores the historical and cultural impact of the notion. As French revolutionary historian Lynn Hunt has argued, the "rhetoric of revolution" provides "a way of reconstituting the social and political world"; language does not merely reflect change but is an "instrument" of it. 13 In other words, Hunt views the language and representation of rhetoric as cultural ephemera with productive potential. Despite the vast differences between eighteenth-century France and twentieth-century Laos, Lao revolutionary rhetoric possessed a similar capacity to effect change. This impact is overlooked by earlier analyses of socialist education and culture that emphasize affective barriers to their success. 14 I also take the examination of rhetoric a step further than Hunt, elucidating a dialogue between the rhetorical and the physical realms. Ignoring the physical not only overlooks tangible manifestations of rhetoric, it just as importantly fails to register how the concern with physicality shaped rhetorical idiom and understanding. Of course, it is possible to debate the extent to which the reproduction of revolutionary rhetoric in Laos was simply performed as opposed to absorbed. But even where subjects chose quiescence due to fear, ambition, or apathy, the reiteration of the revolutionary line-what James Scott might call the "public script"-had very real social significance. 15 It not only produced a Foucauldian regime of truth, which dictated the proper way to speak and behave; it also provided the basis for concrete changes in state policy and practice. In addition to being buttressed by the microcapillaries of power associated with Foucault's formulation of power /knowledge, the Lao regime was bolstered by the force of an authoritarian, coercive state, including disciplinary macro-tendrils such as prison camps, which call to mind Foucault's work on the prison. 16 Despite certain limits to the reach of the socialist Lao state, the new ideology (neokhit mai) could be implemented and policed with crushing effectiveness, a grim reality reflected in the flight of 10 percent of the Grant Evans, Lao Peasants under Socialism (New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 1990), pp. 6-7. 13 Lynn Avery Hunt, Politics, Culture, and Class in the French Revolution (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2004), p. 24. If this now seems characteristic of the linguistic or cultural turn in the humanities, it is because Hunt contributed to it. 14 Compare to MacAlister Brown and Joseph J. Zasloff, Apprentice Revolutionaries: The Communist Movement in Laos, 1930-1985 (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1986), pp. 231-40. ts J. C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 1990). Of course, the reference to Scott raises the prospect of non-hegemonic "hidden transcripts" coexisting with the public. But while alternative perspectives no doubt existed, they require study elsewhere. 16 Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (London: Penguin, 1977). 12

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population by 1980, and more thereafter. 17 In light of these observations, studying revolutionary rhetoric represents an opportunity to examine how socialist ideas, vernaculars, and practices came to Laos, to consider their reproduction in the local milieu, including their constitution in language, and to weigh their impact in terms of policy, practice, and cultural change . .The question that remains is how to study state rhetoric, especially when it was produced by a communist system as a means of not just reporting, but of creating truth-that is, what detractors would call "propaganda." 18 But historians have been wrestling with this important issue since the cultural turn redefined all historical sources-long held to be repositories of empirical truth-as mere "representations." In other words, the question is less whether we use "propaganda" as a source than how we use any source. Without resorting to outright relativism, historians must always exercise judgment when utilizing sources, including consideration of how a source's own history affects the history they write. "History is historiography," as history theorist Alan Munslow puts it. 19 A brief discussion of propaganda and rhetoric in Laos is illustrative. If propaganda is "the attempt to transmit social and political values in the hope of affecting people's thinking, emotions, and thereby behavior," the post-1975 regime in Laos used it widely (as do all states). 20 Like communist governments elsewhere, the Lao party-state did not shy away from employing propaganda (khosana). Together with information (thalaeng khao) and culture (vatthanatham), khosana was commonly discussed as a strategy for promoting party-state doctrine and policy. In general, propaganda did not have negative associations akin to those that clustered around "brainwashing," for instance, except when applied to the propaganda broadcast and printed by enemies; for such messages, the term khosana suanseua was sometimes used ("false propaganda," or literally "propaganda to make believe"). In fact, the basic form khosana is very broad, referring in different contexts to "information," "promotion," and "advertising." Unlike in China, moreover, in Laos there is no clear distinction between the medium and the content; khosana can refer to both. 21 Identifying khosana as an objective category is unhelpful; the Lao term is simply too broad and indeterminate. If, on the other hand, we dismiss government language production as worthless "propaganda," based on our accustomed response to and use of the pejorative English term, we judge its quality (bad) and analytical 17 Grant Evans, A Short History of Laos: The Land in Between (Crows Nest, NSW: Allen and Unwin, 2002), p. 178. 18 The dismissal of socialist rhetoric is not confined to Westerners. Whenever I wanted to discuss socialism with friends in Laos during research for my thesis, its terminology was dismissed as "old language" (phasa kao) of the "old period" (lainya kao), which in itself is ironic, since not so long ago the socialist era was the new era! Warren Mayes explores the disconnect between the revolutionary generation and their children, the first to grow up since 1975, in his recent dissertation: Warren P. Mayes, "Urban Cosmonauts: The Global Explorations of the New Generation from Post-Revolutionary Laos" (PhD dissertation, Australian National University, 2007). 19 Alan Munslow, The New History (Harlow, UK: Pearson, 2003), p. 157. 20 The definition is from P. Kenez, The Birth of the Propaganda State: Soviet Methods of Mass Mobilisation, 1917-1925 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), p. 4. 21 Compare to A. M. Brady, Marketing Dictatorship: Propaganda and Thought Work in Contemporary China (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), p. 7, n. 6.

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value (nil) without considering the diversity and nuance of state representation. 22 For these reasons, the term "rhetoric" better encapsulates the complexities of state production of language. 23 In this essay, I employ three main rhetorical sources to explore notions of the new socialist person: speeches, administrative reports, and the press. First, while the oratory of Kaysone Phomvihane, general secretary of the LPRP and prime minister of the Lao PDR, was peppered with tirades against "American imperialists" (chakaplrat amelika) and the "old regime" (labop kao), it also articulated a vision for Lao society, illuminating how language ordered the socialist cosmos. Second, reports of the Ministry of Education, Sport, and Religious Affairs (MESRA}, usually signed by the minister, Phoumi Vongvichit, regurgitated similar anti-imperial diatribes and probably propagated dubious statistics. By cataloguing departmental "achievements" and "shortcomings," however, they also revealed policy priorities and the language used to express them, providing a unique insight into socialist administrative culture. Finally, while little is known about the formal press industry in Laos, state-regulated newspapers such as Vientiane Mai (New Vientiane}, mostly aimed at state officials, obviously sought to further the interests of the party-state leadership. Yet as repositories of the party line and records of official events, they, too, remain useful sources of party rhetoric, especially the language used to construct moral correctness. Most important here, all three sources reveal the dialogue between the rhetorical and physical realms. Only if we move beyond simplistic concerns with propaganda and truth do these possibilities become manifest. THE NEW SOCIALIST PERSON AND UPGRADING CULTURE

In 1971 the Central Committee of the Lao Patriotic Front (LPF) defined its "educational direction" (thitthang seuksa) as follows: ... to build a new generation of person, one that will become a new type of person: one with great physical strength, with strong health, with knowledge and ability in various subjects, with revolutionary ideology and qualities, with a resolute spirit-brave ... prepared together to serve the nation in the future. 24 Four years before the party came to power, the party's objectives of building a new generation (lun mai) or new type (baep mai) of person were clear, as were the characteristics this ideal subject possessed. Most important for our purposes, the "new person" would possess great physical strength (nzi kamlangkai khaeng haeng) and strong health (nzi sukhaphap khemkhaeng). Together with the right knowledge (khwam hu), abilities (khwam samat), ideology (neokhit), qualities (khunsombat), and For similar comments on dismissing "propaganda" in socialist Vietnam, see: K. Maclean, "Manifest Socialism: The Labor of Representation in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (1956-1959)," Joumal ofVietnamese Studies 2,1 (2007): 64. 23 Another possible term would be "discourse," and I have already stated my belief that state rhetoric functioned in a Foucauldian manner to produce truth. However, I choose not to use the term, as its ubiquity in recent scholarship has weakened its explanatory value. 24 Ministry of Education, Sport, and Religious Affairs [MESRA], Kila kainyakam: san pathom labop saman seuksa (khumeu khu) [Sport and Physical Culture: Primary Level, General Education System (teachers' handbook)] (Vientiane: Ministry of Education, Sport, and Religious Affairs Publishing House, 1976), p. ko. Ellipses in original. 22

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spirit (namchai), physical characteristics were essential to equip this person to serve the nation (hapsai pathetsat). These objectives may have seemed fanciful when they were first enunciated in 1971. The LPF was still based in caves in Huaphanh province in the far northeast of Laos, the Lao People's Party was still clandestine, and even the Third Coalition Government was still two years away. In 1976, however, when the party was securely in power, building the new socialist person became national policy. The above excerpt comes from Kila kainyakam (Sport and Physical Culture), a teacher handbook published by the new Ministry of Education, which reveals the determinism of the "new person" ideology and, as part of this, the priority placed on propagating physical culture throughout society. While the "new person" motif emerged in Laos before 1975, it changed after the party's rise to power. Most importantly, the importance placed on ideology increased as the "new person" became the "new socialist person" and state rhetoric embraced physicality in more far-reaching ways as a defining feature of the new regime. The party's general rhetoric concerning the "new type of person" developed into a more structured theoretical framework between late 1975 and early 1977. The blueprint emerged at the Third and, especially, the Fourth Plenum Sessions of the Party Central Committee, respectively in October 1975 and February 1977, as the party sought to bolster the theoretical rigor of the revolution. The end product, passed at the Fourth Plenum, was the theory of the "three revolutions": the revolution in relations of production, the revolution in science and technology, and the revolution in ideology and culture. 25 From the inner sanctum of the party, the theory spread to the party-state apparatus and beyond. Later in February, for instance, Kaysone explained the three revolutions to a combined meeting of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) and the Council of Ministers. 26 Two months later, the party newspaper Siang Pasason (The People's Voice) carried a story on the third revolution, which was later broadcast on radio. 27 The LPF's theoretical model was undoubtedly borrowed from the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), which announced the same three revolutions at its Fourth Congress in December 1976. 28 Without close comparative analysis, it is not possible to know how much the CPV version was modified in Laos, but it was probably not much. Vietnamese communism was critical in shaping Lao socialist thought, far more so than Soviet or, certainly, Chinese socialism. While claims that Laos was a 25 Kaysone Phomvihane, Revolution in Laos: Practice and Prospects (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1981), p. 181. Dore puts the Fourth Congress at December 1976, the same month as the Fourth Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, but this is not Kaysone's recollection. Kaysone Phomvihane, Revolution in Laos, p. 227. A. Dore, "The Three Revolutions in Laos," in Contemporary Laos, ed. Martin Stuart-Fox (St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1982), p. 101. 26 Reprinted as Kaysone Phomvihane, "Lainya mai, thitthang mai, nathi mai lae bang banha pheunthan pheua happakan saisana khong sangkhomninyom [New Era, New Direction, New Tasks, and Some Basics for Guaranteeing the Victory of Socialism]," in Niphon leuak fen 2: kiaokap kansang setthakit nai samai khamphan kaokheun sangkhomninyom [Selected Writings: Volume 2: Concerning Economic Construction in the Period of Transition to Socialism], ed. Kaysone Phomvihane (Vientiane: Lao PDR Publishing Office, 1977). This speech is cited extensively below. 27 Cited in Brown and Zasloff, Apprentice Revolutionaries, pp. 234; 418 n. 40. 28 Dore, "The Three Revolutions in Laos," p. 101.

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"colony" of Hanoi are exaggerated, the influence of the larger country was vast. 29 Between five and six thousand Vietnamese political advisors were reportedly stationed in Laos after 1975, and officials at all levels engaged in meetings and exchanges, formal and informal. 30 Most senior Lao party officials studied MarxistLeninist theory at the Nguyen Ai Quae School in Hanoi, while Vietnamese instructors helped develop courses for the Party and State School for Political Theory in Vientiane, and "political tracts" were translated into Lao from Vietnamese "with minimal modjfication." 31 Given this context, we can surmise that the Lao officials adopted the Vietnamese blueprint for the three revolutions with few significant revisions, even if the act of translation itself offered scope for fine-tuning to match the local context. 32 Our concern here is limited to the revolution in ideology and culture (kanpativat vatthanatham lae neokhit), the central conceit of which focused on building the "new socialist person." As the name indicated, the project of building the new socialist person was heavily ideological. Fostering revolutionary ideology (naeoklzit pativat) throughout the party, the military, and the people-starting with civil servants-was a principle objective of the party. The Lao term for ideology, naeokhit-literally, "way of thinking" -betrayed this aspect very clearly. In his speech to the SP and Council of Ministers, Kaysone explained that the party's goal was "lifting the level of socialist revolutionary awareness, of knowledge of Marxism-Leninism, in order to grasp and support the policy of the party-state." 33 The objective of building the new socialist person was also instrumental, a "prerequisite" (patchai) for the construction of socialism, which had to come "before the first step." 34 This was because, in the dialectical relationship between base and superstructure, new relations of production could only be built by people with a new consciousness (sati mai). Kaysone declared: The construction of socialism does not only require building new relations of production, nor just new forces of production, but also a new superstructure The "colony" proposition is from Arthur ). Dammen, "Laos: Vietnam's Satellite," Current History 77,452 (December 1979). But I agree with Evans and Rowley, who counter that this

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proposition conflates uneven relations between Laos and Vietnam with colonialism. Not only is it true that Laos retained formal independence as a sovereign nation; in addition, there is no evidence of "the allegedly malevolent nature of Vietnamese power." Grant Evans and Kevin Rowley, Red Brotherhood at War: Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos since 1975, 2nd ed. (London and New York, NY: Verso, 1990), p. 60. 30 By contrast, Soviet advisors were mostly employed in technical areas. Brown and Zasloff, Apprentice Revolutionaries, pp. 209-12. 31 Ibid., p. 176. Evans, A Short History of Laos, p. 188. See also Martin Stuart-Fox, "Foreign Policy in the Lao People's Democratic Republic," in Laos: Beyo11d the Revolution, ed. Joseph J. Zasloff and Leonard Unger (Houndsmill and London: MacMillan, 1991), pp. 191-92. 32 For a discussion of translation and ideology, see Arjun Appadurai, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1996), p. 36. 33 Kaysone Phomvihane, "Lainya mai, thitthang mai, nathi mai lae bang banha," p. 59. 34 Kaysone Phomvihane, "Chut phiset khong saphapkan lae nathi nai sapho na [Particular Points Concerning the Situation and Tasks in the Coming Period]," in Niphon leuak fen 2: kiaokap kansang settlzakit nai samai khamphan kaokheun sangkhomninyom, ed. Kaysone Phomvihane (Vientiane: Lao PDR Publishing Office, 1975), p. 30.

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[khongbon]. Much more than that, if one wants to construct new relations of production and new forces of production, there must be a new socialist person. 35 More particularly, "a high level of alertness in respect to politics" and "a high cultural and technical-scientific level" would enable the new socialist person to "oversee the state, the economy, and society." 36 That is, training in ideology and culture would create the socialist person who would act as agent in producing the new society. Such sentiments were short on detail but clear enough to demonstrate that the socialist theory of social transformation in Laos was based on the potential-and the necessity-of human intervention. Most importantly, the endeavor also indicated the party's totalitarian ambition, its commitment to wholesale social transformation. As Evans has shown, these objectives were rarely achieved in the field of economicsi.e., the revolution in relations of production-to say nothing of development in the fields of science and technology, which remained hopelessly inadequate in Laos to transform society. 37 However, the third revolution was manifestly different, since, unlike these others, it did not promise specific reforms or technical advances, but aimed for the construction of an abstract ideal, the new socialist person. How could such a nebulous objective be a success or failure? This is why ten years later Kaysone had no trouble declaring that "the new socialist man has emerged." 38 The task here is to examine what policies and practices were carried out in pursuit of the third revolution, particularly with respect to physical culture, and to assess the impact of these efforts and the associated rhetoric. As determined before 1975, the fields that would foster the new consciousness in Laos were education and culture. The main focus of education policy was eradicating illiteracy and replacing French as a medium of instruction with Lao. Content was also important, particularly the emphasis on "all-round education" (kanseuksa hopdan), an explicit aspect of which was "political education" (kanseuksa kanmeuang). Rather in the manner of the ideology training given to party-state cadres, political education involved teaching the citizen to love the nation and socialism and to recognize that these affinities were one and the same thing. The overall objective of the education system was to build a "new generation of people to become socialist laborers [phu ok haeng ngan sangkohmninyom] possessing culture, revolutionary attributes [khunsombat pativat], a technical level, and hardworking discipline [labiap vinai ok haeng ngan]." 39 The objective of training a capable workforce was not so different from the modernizing and nation-building aims of educational systems elsewhere, in Asia and the West. However, socialist terminology demonstrated a particular concern with the physical, especially in its motifs concerning workers and "hard-working discipline," even though the Lao working class was, in practice, "nonexistent." 40 Kaysone Phomvihane, "Lainya mai, thitthang mai, nathi mai lae bang banha," p. 58. Kaysone Phomvihane, "Chut phi set khong saphapkan lae nathi nai sapho na," pp. 30-31. 37 Evans, Lao Peasants under Socialism. 38 Cited in ibid., p. 1. 39 Kaysone Phomvihane, "Lainya mai, thitthang mai, nathi mai lae bang banha," p. 61. 40 Many have pointed this out. One of the first was Dore, "The Three Revolutions in Laos," p. 104. 35

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Much broader than rhetoric focused on education, state rhetoric on "culture" encompassed both negative and positive dimensions. Notoriously, the party attacked the cultural legacies of the previous regime, particularly American influences. 41 In his 1977 speech to the SPA and Council of Ministers, Kaysone declared: First and foremost, we must fight steadfastly, permanently, and resolutely to abolish the remaining vestiges of feudal and especially colonial ideology and culture; in particular, [we] must extract the wicked poison of the ideology and culture of neocolonialism that the American imperialists and reactionaries introduced and propagated throughout our country. 42 The party determined that remnants of American culture would inhibit progress under socialism. Behind the strident language lay disapproval of perceived social ills that reflected the party's social conservatismY The most notorious expressions of this conservatism were party edicts "to destroy all fiction books, magazines, and photographs which are erotic and sexy, the photos of imperialist cow-boys, to completely destroy social hazards such as gambling, hippies, prostitutes, [and] bars." 44 The other main targets for abolition were "backward customs" (hitkhong an lalang), which were said to "obstruct the production and livelihoods of the people." 45 Kaysone's cultural crusade was notable for its strident language, much of which was newly translated into Lao or, at the very least, gave old words new connotations and contexts. The key verbal metaphor used to communicate the negative aspect of culture and ideology was loplang, meaning "to abolish," a compound of two verbs: lop, which means erase or rub out, and lang, a common verb meaning to wash, clean, or cleanse. As the derivation suggests, the term could also carry connotations of moral cleansing. The unrelenting use of strong adverbs such as "steadfastly" (manniao) and "resolutely" (detdiao) reinforced the fervor of the public mission to clean up society. Meanwhile, the object of the cleansing-the remaining vestiges (honghoi setleua) of colonial culture-was conflated with "poison" (phit), a metaphor that conveyed toxicity. 46 The critique of the old society pervaded every aspect of administration, and sport was no exception. Criticism was leveled at "pre-liberation" sport on the grounds of "ideology," "politics," and "administration." Concerning ideology, it was said that "the capitalist system" (labop nai theun) had not recognized sport's "mass Scholars of socialist Laos mention the anti-American tirades without fail, for they were polemical and sensationalist. But while many of these scholars note the rounding up of prostitutes and other undesirables, few if any consider the broader ramifications of how the rhetoric shaped the Lao world view and policy. I hope this essay goes some way towards correcting this omission. 42 Kaysone Phomvihane, "Lainya mai, thitthang mai, nathi mai lae bang banha," pp. 62-63. 43 Evans, Lao Peasants under Socialism, p. 4. 44 Documents of National Congress of the People's Representatives of Laos [from the National Congress that met in Vientiane, Laos, December 1-2, 1975] (Delhi, India: The Embassy of the Lao People's Democratic Republic), reprinted as Appendix AS in Brown and Zasloff, Apprentice Revolutionaries, pp. 300-9. 4 ' Kaysone Phomvihane, "Lainya mai, thitthang mai, nathi mai lae bang banha," p. 63. 46 The same metaphor was used in South Vietnam after 1975. See Philip Taylor, Fragments of the Present: Searching for Modernity in Vietnam's South (Crows Nest, NSW: Allen and Unwin, 2001),

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characteristics." Nor had it understood that "sport was the right of all people and a means of building the new person physically and mentally [dan hangkai chitchai], of building the body [sang kato]-laborers must be completely healthy [mi sukkhaphap sombun]." Sport had been "separated from the matter of politics and foreign affairs," and, finally, "absolute" power (atnyasit) had been centralized in the Ministry of Education, Sport, and Youth, which depended upon the ability of "capital" and "rich people" to provide patronage for sport. This last point, in particular, was cited as evidence that the old regime had not fostered expansion in the "mass movement"

(khabuan mahason)Y Somewhat repetitively, the condition of sports activities was further critiqued for reflecting the ideological, political, and administrative characteristics of the old regime (labob kao). These included: (1) unawareness (tlzeu baa) of the mass movement, which restricted involvement in sports to "those with vehicles" (phu mi phahana), i.e., the wealthy, who could drive to sports events; (2) unawareness of politics; (3) authoritarian (phadet sit) organization, with the centralization of "absolute power" in the ministry and regionalism (anathipatai) in the countryside; and (4) the professional nature of sport (kila asip), "meaning the selling of brilliant athletes' bodies." 48 Though not possible to confirm, this final criticism may have been a reference to professional boxing, which had been embraced as a gambling sport in the 1960s!9 In any case, the critique of "old regime" sport demonstrated how the template defining the old/bad culture was affixed to every social institution, including those of sport and physical culture. Of course, such polemics constituted propaganda in the fullest sense of the word, yet in doing so, the rhetoric that constructed the polemics laid narrative foundations for the establishment of an enlightened "new" (mai) sporting culture to replace the darkness of the "old" (kao). In other words, such rhetoric structured notions of time and progress, which explains the frequent use of these temporal markers, as well as the moral significance that lay behind them. Given the manic rhetoric that proposed wiping out vestiges of colonialism and neocolonialism, it is not surprising that these aspects of the party's cultural critique have attracted the most attention. But this was just one side of the party's program of cultural reform. Another dimension, just as important, was couched in positive metaphors evoking the themes of construction and growth. In his February 1977 speech to the SPA and Council of Ministers, Kaysone emphasized that "we must build a new culture that has the substance of socialism, which truly demonstrates revolutionary characteristics, national characteristics, and popular characteristics." 50 This second component-which amounted to the light generated by the "new Department of Archives, Prime Minister's Office, Collection [fang] no. 08, File [samnuan] no. 43 (hereafter PMO DA, followed by collection/ file). PMO DA no. 41 I Khan a kammakan kila olaempic haeng so po po Ia: ko o lo [National Olympic Committee of the LPDR: LOC] /86. Sal up sangluam kankheuanvai klzong ko or Ia phan lainya 1978-1986 [Overall Summary of LOC Activities, 1978-1986], May 31, 1986, p. 3. The LOC (Lao Olympic Committee) was formed in 1978 to oversee preparation and participation in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, an event 47

that highlighted the junction of Cold War politics, culture, and sport in Laos. See Creak, "Body Work." 48 LOC [Overall Summary, 1978-86], p. 4. It should be noted that the socialists embraced professional sport, but only when it followed the model of worker athletes (nak kila asip) promoted in the Soviet Union. 49 For example, see Sat Lao, March 6, 1964, p. 7. 5°Kaysone Phomvihane, "Lainya mai, thitthang mai, nathi mai lae bang banha," p. 63.

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society" -occupied the party leadership as much as metaphors suggesting eradication. Behind the didactic phrasing, socialist culture essentially contained two objectives. 51 The first was a program of nationalist cultural revival. This involved "reinforcing [soe1n klzanyai tua] the priceless cultural heritage of the nation," "expanding [khanyai tua] the cultural capital" amassed during the revolution, and "selectively embracing the fruits of civilization of all mankind [phon khong muanmanutsat]." By "reinforcing patriotic foundations [munseua haksat]," these strategies would make Lao culture "rich and abundant [udom hangmi]." Having said this, Kaysone, who was aware of orthodox Marxist antipathy towards nationalism, also called on the population to build a "socialist patriotic spirit" (chitchai hak sat hak sangkhomninyom) together with an "international proletarian spirit" (chitchai sakon kammasip). 52 To encompass both concerns, Kaysone declared the new culture was to be "socialist in content and national in form," though it is hard to see what this would have meant in practice. 53 These objectives were reflected in the party's development of sport and physical culture. "Traditional" sports, such as Lao boxing (muai lao) and sepak takraw (kato), were emphasized more than before, showing a heightened concern for national heritage. In 1976, the sports department announced it was conducting research into "traditional Lao boxing," and socialist sports historiography presented the party as the savior of indigenous sports. 54 Muai lao was also distinguished more discretely from its closely related Thai variant, muai thai. Whereas the terms muai thai and muai lao had previously been used somewhat interchangeably, the nomenclature was nationalized, so that after 1975 muai lao was used exclusively in Laos. In addition, the widespread promotion of certain socialist ideas and practices-particularly of physical culture (kainyakam) and calisthenics (kainyaborihan)-constituted "fruits of civilization." 55 These were especially relevant to the mass sport and physical culture movement, discussed below. Finally, sporting relationships with the "extended Both Brown and Zasloff and Evans make similar points. However, neither considers the Lao terms, which are important in the discussion of rhetoric and physicality that follows below. See Brown and Zasloff, Apprentice Revolutionaries, pp. 234-37, and Evans, Lao Peasants under Socialism, pp. 1-7. 52 Kaysone Phomvihane, "Lainya mai, thitthang mai, nathi mai lae bang banha," p. 63. 53 Kaysone Phomvihane, Revolution in Laos, p. 194. 54 PMO DA 08/14, Kasuang seuksa kila lae thammakan [MESRA], Sa/up viakngan seksa kila lac thammakan sokhian 1975-1976 [Summary of Education, Sport, and Religious Affairs Work, 1975-1976], no date (1976], p. 14; for socialist boxing historiography, see Seuksa Mai, September 1984, p. 15; for more recent historiography, seeS. Thipthiangchan, "Pavatkhwampenrna khong kila lao [History of Lao Sport]," in Somsoei vankamnoet kila lao khophop 35 pi [Rejoice for the 35th Anniversary of the Birth of Lao Sport), ed. National Sports Committee (Vientiane: Lao National Sports Committee, 2001).

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Having said this, I should add that the vast majority of sports played in socialist Laos remained the same as before 1975, the most popular being those introduced during colonialism (football, basketball, volleyball, athletics, and so forth). This reflected the inescapable fact that most modern sports are neither purely nationalist nor socialist, but are global phenomena. Not surprisingly, however, there was no move to eliminate these particular "vestiges" of colonialism. For the most part, they were easily transformed from colonial into national and then socialist institutions, although tennis was singled out for criticism as an elite sport.

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socialist family" (khananyat sangkhomninyom), advocated by the regime, sought to foster an international proletarian spirit. 56 The second objective of socialist culture pertained to the character of the new socialist person. Kaysone urged the Lao people to "build a new life, a life of working hard, and fighting for the nation and for socialism" on foundations of "industrious, diligent, and audacious hard work [okhaeng'ngan khanyan manplzian ong'atkahan]." 57 Kaysone and others returned to the theme of hard work time and again. In the same speech, Kaysone beseeched: [We] must foster an effervescent and hard-working spirit, a spirit of determination to serve production and people's livelihoods ... [We must] resist the illnesses of laziness [khikhan], parasitism [kokin], extortion [khut'hin], greed and covetousness [lopmak lopha], and extravagance [fumfeuai]. 58 These virtues and vices are somewhat universal, especially in modernizing regimes, but here the motifs of work and austerity were attached to the ideal of the new socialist person. He or she would be hard working and self-sufficient, a person who was not a burden on others but could lift him/herself, and Lao society, higher. Lao more than most people had long been characterized-and characterized themselves-as easy-going, playful, or downright lazy. 59 Kaysone's critique played off these images, as well as the deposed Royal Lao Government's dependence on US assistance. Mass sport and physical culture were thought to have a crucial role to play in fostering the positive characteristics of the new socialist person, as the textbook KilaKainyakam (Sport and Physical Culture) demonstrated. The party-state consciously promoted sport and physical culture as "a means of building the strength and purity of laborers." 60 The field was also embraced for its potential to build khunsombat, or qualities, especially those involving diligence and discipline, which, again, related to labor. Later in this essay, I turn in detail to the policies and practices that sought to realize these objectives. Beyond its implications for physical culture institutions, the theme of "labor" connected the rhetoric of revolution with the human body. Following the dictum of Marx and, perhaps more famously, Mao, officials emphasized the need to nurture both mental and physical attributes in the new socialist person. 61 In 1977, Phoumi I discuss international socialist sports relations in the Lao context, particularly Laos's involvement in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, in Chapter 7 of my PhD dissertation, Creak, "Body Work." 57 Kaysone Phomvihane, "Lainya mai, thitthang mai, nathi mai lae bang banha," p. 63. 58 Ibid., pp. 59-60. 59 The French certainly criticized the Lao as indolent and lazy. See Martin Stuart-Fox, A History of Laos (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 41-42; 210, n. 18. In a similar vein, the joint French-Lao Lao Renovation Movement (1941-45) criticized Lao for being seu-seu (unconcerned, complacent), and blamed this propensity for various problems that had troubled the Lao kingdoms of the past. Soren lvarsson, Creating Laos: The Making of a Lao Space between Indochina and Siam, 1860-1945 (Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2008), pp. 168-69. 60 LOC [Overall Summary, 1978-1986], p. 5. 61 For Marx, see the discussion above; for Mao, see Susan Brownell, Training the Body for China: Sports in the Moral Order of the People's Republic (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1995), pp. 56-58.

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Vongvichit stressed that both "mental and physical labor" were necessary to build the new society, and a decade later Kaysone iterated the need to build a "socialist intelligentsia class" (san khan panyason sangkhomninyom). 62 But like other socialist regimes, the Lao party overwhelmingly privileged the physical over the intellectual, the practical over the abstract. Though never as extreme as the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia, party resolutions in 1976 and 1978 captured the practical intent in the mantra "learning goes with doing" (hian pai kap het). 63 Those who could claim to be exempt from this dictum, of course, were leaders (phunam) of the revolution, who were responsible for devising its theoretical direction, and civil servants, who studied the direction in order to implement it. But for the remainder of the population, physical toil was given top priority. 64 Labor figured centrally in the party discussions of the new socialist person. In 1977, Siang Pasason explained that new socialist people "consider engaging in labor a matter of honor, happiness, and part of earning a living" and "willingly sympathize with fellow laboring people." 65 Together with peasants (sao na) and soldiers (thahan), workers (kamakon) and laborers (phu ok haeng'ngan)-the "non-existent proletariat" 66-were also glorified in state representations of revolution (figure 1, below). All of these were physical vocations, and referencing them underscored how the body was a critical site for articulating the values of socialist society. As in socialist regimes elsewhere, socialist realist art reinforced this message in Laos. The worker, the soldier, and the peasant were the key figures in revolutionary representation, and the juxtaposition of the three images provided visual shorthand defining the physical nature and appearance of the new socialist person. 67 We can also note from figure 1 (below) that women were part of the representational ideal of the "new socialist person." In contrast with the domestic sphere advocated by the Women's Union, which promoted the much ridiculed "three goods"-"good wife," "good mother," and "good citizen"-the field of physical culture at least partly reflected party-state policy and rhetoric concerning Brown and Zasloff, Apprentice Revolutionaries, p. 178. Kaysone Phomvihane, Ekasan khong kongpasumnyai khangthi IV khong phak pasason pativat lao [Documents of the IVth Congress of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party l (Vientiane: n.p., 1986), p. 66. 63 PMO DA 08134, no. 945IMESRAI86. Bot laingan kiaokap kansalup viakngan seuksa nai lainya 10 pi (1975-1985) [Report Concerning Summary of Education Work in Ten-year Period (19751985)], June 17, 1986, pp. 1-2. 64 Perversely, the emphasis on the physical over the intellectual undermined the country far more than it helped. As the party monopolized the cerebral sphere, the educated fled as refugees in disproportionate numbers, leading to a chronic shortage of skilled workers over the following years. Evans, A Short History of Laos, p. 178. 65 Brown and Zasloff, Apprentice Revolutionaries, p. 234. 66 Grant Evans, The Politics of Ritual and Remembrance: Laos since 1975 (Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 1998), p. 18. 67 For a brief discussion of socialist realist art in Laos, including a slideshow of examples, see Andrew Forbes and CPA Media, Socialist Realism in Laos (2002 [cited March 31, 2009]); available from http: I I www.cpamedia.com I articles I 20021125_01 I. Brownell discusses the shift away from the glorification of manual workers and peasants in late-1980s China in Brownell, Training the Body for China, pp. 186-97. Judging from the inclusion of bureaucrats (and monks) on more recent party billboards, a similar phenomenon occurred from the 1990s in Laos (see slide 5 and article in Forbes and CPA Media 2002, Socialist Realism in Laos).

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"equality between women and men" (samoephap lavang nying kap sai). 68 The marking of Women's Day (March 8) with sporting events provided one poignant example of this official attitude, while state publications emphasized the involvement of both male and female youth (sai num nying sao) in voluntary labor movements meant to beautify the urban environment. 69 While the notorious banning of jeans and make-up demonstrated the conservative tendencies of the party-state in matters affecting women, other cultural changes indicated a broader understanding of "women' s work" and "women's activities" than before 1975?0

Figure 1: Statue of the peasant, the soldier, and the worker, in the forecourt of the original Lao People's Army Museum (opened 1976). (photo: David Henley, CPA Media, www.cpamedia.com, reproduced with permission, undated) The ideological and instrumental importance of labor was further reflected in its role in "reeducation," or prison, camps. The understandable abhorrence felt by detainees and observers towards these camps, which were referred to euphemistically as sammana (seminar), obscures the fact that they served two distinct functions : punishment and reform. Physical labor was a key aspect of both, as Phoumi explained in January 1977: "Why are these people attending seminars? They are doing so to study new things ... Those power bosses who never worked with their hands must learn to do so because under the socialist system everyone mu st engage in both mental and physical labor.'' 71 The recent memoir by a former Kaysone Phomvihane, "Lainya mai, thitthang mai, nathi mai lae bang banha," p. 60. For the "three goods," see Stuart-Fox, A History of Laos, p. 187. 69 For example, Viangchan Mai, March 20, 1984, and January 4, 1976. 70 While there was women's sport before 1975, the more dominant images of femininity produced in women's magazines such as Nang (Woman) were concerned with beauty and proper deportment. More research is required in this field. 71 Brown and Zasloff, Apprentice Revolutionaries, p. 178.

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prisoner, Bounsang Khamkeo, demonstrates the harsh reality of hard labor in the camps. 72 Amphay Dore has recognized and addressed the importance of physical labor in his pyramid model of the "socio-political structure" of socialist Laos. 73 From its base, according to Dore, society consisted of five groups or levels: (1) those undergoing social and political reeducation; (2) the mass of the population; (3) bureaucrats, police, and soldiers; (4) party members, who "approximate to the socialist ideal"; and (5) the "New Lao Man" (i.e., new socialist person): "The model and goal towards which the social edifice converges is the 'new man,' who stands at its theoretical apex." 74 "The relationship between physical labor and political education," Dore explains, "varies inversely as one moves between the base and apex of the pyramid." 75 For the vast majority of the population and recalcitrants at the bottom, physical labor is the source of social mobility; at its upper reaches, it is political education that matters: "Superior cadres of the state and Party do no physical labor at all." 71' Dore is certainly right to argue that physical labor was glorified for the mass of the population, but his appraisal contains one major flaw. As an ideal, the new socialist person encompassed all positive traits as defined by the party, including physical ones. In fact, while party leaders indeed reveled in doing the "mental work" of the revolution, they were also glorified for their physical attributes. A photograph of Kaysone exercising, with a caption endorsing the benefits of sport for the spirit and for health (see figure 2, below), has been featured ubiquitously at sports exhibitions in the country. 77 Another picture, on display at the NSC Museum in Vientiane, shows him playing table tennis, with the caption explaining that he "exercised every day at the Kilometre 6 dormitory," where he lived after 1975. Thus Kaysone, the nearest embodiment of the new socialist person, is represented as not only a patriot, a "man of the people," and an intellectual, but also as a physical man. 78 The new socialist person was not just a telos at the pyramid's apex and the end of time, but an ideal intended to permeate every level of Lao society. For most of the population, however, for whom the all-roundedness of Kaysone was but an ideal, the most pertinent and perhaps the only achievable characteristic of the new socialist person was hard work. As will now be clear, "culture" in the rhetoric of the Lao PDR encompassed much more than might usually be ascribed to the term. Given that socialist culture could allegedly produce a new type of person and, through him/her, a new society, the term had a productive and even ameliorative quality. Reflecting this aspect, Bounsang Khamkeo, I Little Slave: A Prison Memoir from Communist Laos (Spokane, WA: Eastern Washington University Press, 2006). 73 Dore, "The Three Revolutions in Laos," pp. 111. 74 Ibid., pp. 109-10. 75 Ibid., p. 110. 76 Ibid., p. 111. 77 The picture of Kaysone was displayed at the NSC stand at an exhibition in NovemberDecember 2005 celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the revolution at Lao ITECC. It was also displayed at the seventh National Games exhibition at the Savannakhet stadium later that December on the occasion of the seventh National Games. 78 Compare to Evans, Ritual and Remembrance, pp. 32-33. 72

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Figure 2: Kaysone Phomvihane: a physical man and the nearest embodiment of the new socialist person (photo: copied by author with permission).

political speeches and administrative reports were peppered with the goal of bamlung vatthanatham, a phrase that connotes upgrading, fostering, or simply improving culture. 79 Culture was not merely abstract or decorative, nor was it naturalized as an essential or innate quality; it was a mutable category to be upgraded for the purpose of producing new socialist people and socialist transformation. The sport and physical culture movement was a critical element of this notion of socialist culture, for it would boost physical strength and health. In an instrumental sense, this would build strong, healthy, and hard-working laborers to aid national construction. In addition, and more generally, the emphasis on physical characteristics betrayed the party's contempt for the intellectual and its glorification of the physical. Thus, the benefits of the sport and physical culture movement transcended the instrumental, reflecting broader party ideology. Above and beyond these aspects of "culture" as they were conceived and understood, culture was also characteristic of what we might call the cosmology of socialist Laos, a profoundly positivist vision of total social transformation In certain cases, bamlung vatthanatham also referred to political training. According to Ministry of Educa tion reports and plans, success in bamlung vatthanatham work could be measured by the percentage of government and party officials at various levels who had completed prescribed levels of political training. The term was used alongside, and apparently interchangeably with, a phrase meaning "people's education" (seuksa pasason), which referred to general education (saman seuksa) for adults. DA 08 I 14, MESRA, Phaenkan seuksa 2 pi (naptae sokhian 1979- 80 theung sokhian 1980- 81) [Two-year Education Plan (Academic Years 1979- 80 to 1980-81)] July 31, 1979, pp. 4- 6.

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accomplished under the leadership and auspices of the party. In this worldview, the party would lead (nampha) the transformation of Lao society by identifying problems (banha) or difficulties (khwam nyung'nyak), producing strategies (nyutthasat), and implementing plans (phaenkan). The linguistic motifs of administration reflected this view of social progress. Progress (khwam kaona) towards objectives (chutpasong) was evaluated (tilakha) in terms of work carried out (viakngan), good points (chut di), and achievements (phon 'ngan). Conversely, obstacles (uppasak) and shortcomings or weak points (chut on) were identified, and further plans created in order for these obstacles to be overcome (phanpha). Identifying negatives was an explicit dimension of Kaysone's theory of social progress: "It is essential for us to point out our difficulties, weaknesses, and shortcomings frankly in order to overcome and rectify them, then to proceed."Ko There was nothing that could not be achieved, or at least conceived, in this positivist world view. This cosmology pervaded the party-state at all levels. Party cadres carried out self-assessments by recording curriculum vitae with their achievements and weak points.~ 1 Three decades later, this was the format followed in the resumes of senior civil servants who had cut their teeth in the early years of the revolution.H 2 Administrative reports followed a similar structure: listing work, good points, weak points, and remaining issues (kho khongkhang). 83 The conceit of reeducation was based on doing the same to human beings. Prisoners undertook self-criticism and, as discussed, labored their way to redemption. Clearly, the strident positivism of this worldview was based on an unrealistically simple idea of society and social change. But this model of social change and its accompanying rhetoric pervaded society and shaped the administration of all cultural fields, including that of sport and physical culture. As labor would redeem the individual, so culture, according to this worldview, would effect social progress. The socialist cosmology was comprehensible as a physical metaphor in which society-like the reeducation inmate-was a weak, ill, or otherwise substandard body that could be healed with the right attention. The physical idiom began with "vestiges" of the old regime: poison, for instance, brings on physical sickness or even death, while cleansing (lang), applied to social ills through the verb loplang (abolish), is usually performed on hands and bodies; cleaning ones hands (lang meu), as we all know, is essential for ridding oneself of germs and bacteria. The socialist message equated this kind of physical washing with the cleansing of society. Even more evocative of physicality were the positive terms applied to the culture of the new regime. The most common verbal metaphor, kosang (to build or construct), was applied with equal consistency to bodies, people, and society. Kosang has a material connotation relating it to the construction of roads, buildings, and other objects. Construction implied substantial size, both of effort and results, and size implied progress. The same themes of physicality and size were emphasized in verbs such as Kaysone Phomvihane, Ekasan khong korzgpasumnyai khangthi IV, p. 26. Dore, "The Three Revolutions in Laos," p. 112. 82 In 2006, I was asked to translate a bureaucrat's CV from Lao to English, a difficult task given that "weak points" is not something one would usually include if seeking a job in an international organization (as this man was). 83 This observation is based on Ministry of Education, Sport, and Religious Affairs reports, some of which are cited in this chapter, but reports of other ministries and departments would reveal the same. '' 1

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"increasing" (nyaikheun, poemthavi), "expanding" (kha'nyai), "reinforcing" (soem kha'nyai), or "raising the level" (nyok ladap). Many of these compounds are constructed around the adjective nyai, meaning "big" or "large" in common usage, but also "great." Other components implied moving upwards, for example, nyok (lift) or kheun (rise, up), while the phrase for overcoming obstacles (phanpha upasak) also invoked the physical, meaning, more precisely, to traverse or pass by a barrier. As these physical actions were applied to the body of society, this body-the nationwould improve (pappung) or be upgraded (bamlung). This positivist cosmology of social progress was based almost entirely on physical metaphor and the awareness of physicality that lay beneath it. These verbs permeated administrative reports, including those concerning the sport and physical culture movement. A typical one boasted that the movement had "reinforced successes in the construction of socialism, expanding the health and hygiene of the masses." 84 In one short sentence, sport "reinforced," "expanded," and "constructed," and did so with the result of improving the health of the masses and therefore of the nation. The idiom of improvement was also closely related to the underlying raison d'etre of sport: the aim of reaching higher, going farther, being stronger, and breaking records. The parallel positivism that referred to socialist transformation, the body, and sport showed how physical culture-the culture of all things physical-resonated in socialist rhetoric for cosmological as well as instrumental and ideological reasons. Sport and physical culture resided at the junction of several different currents in party rhetoric on culture. Most obviously, these fields were embraced for their potential to improve the people's physical strength and health and, therefore, to contribute to the building of a new socialist person to "serve the nation." But beneath this straightforward instrumentalism there were two more profound connections. First, socialist culture privileged physical attributes, especially labor, as well as condemning laziness, extravagance, and other negative attributes. This theme connected the abstractness of socialist rhetoric-words-to the body, emphasizing the body's centrality in the ideology of socialist Laos. Second, the Lao socialist worldview of positivist transformation-the cosmology of socialist Laos-was bound up in a physical idiom. Like an inept human body, society awaited physical amelioration through building, improving, and strengthening. These ideological and cosmological juxtapositions of language and physical culhtre reinforced the importance of the physical in Lao socialist society. THE POLITICAL SPORTS MOVEMENT

While this consciousness of the physical emerged on a number of levels, it was, of course, characterized by the deep paradox that it was a rhetorical construction. Transforming the rhetoric into practice would require policies, programs, and resources, and sport and physical culture were uniquely placed to help accomplish this transformation. Upon coming to power, the party asserted its goal of promoting a movement in these fields throughout society. Its Program of Action of December 1975 included the need "to stimulate, maintain, and develop sports activities and physical education amongst the people, particularly amongst the youth, in the army, DA 08/14, MESRA, Salup pi seuksa 1977-1978 [Summary 1977-78 Academic Year], no date [1978], p. 21.

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and in the administrative departments and primary schools.'' 85 The remainder of the essay will appraise these efforts, providing a critical case shtdy of the relationship between socialist rhetoric, policy, and practice. Perhaps the most striking aspect of the new sporting culhlre was the goal of developing a mass sports movement of a political nature. In the past, terms like "sports circles" (vongkan kila) and "sports movement/ activities" (kankheuanvai kila) had been used to refer to organized sport in Laos. While these quite neutral terms continued to be used, a newly adopted term, khabuan, connoted a political movement. Use of this term betrayed the political purpose of whatever it was applied to, and the newly tagged "sport and physical culhlre movement" (kankhabuan kila kainyakam) was one such example. Departmental reports referred constantly to the role of the movement in "serving the political tasks of the partystate" (hapsai nathi kanmeuang khong phak lae lat), often criticizing officials for failing to realize this core concern. Though this movement was not represented by an official administrative body, as were the party's formally constituted mass organizations (of youth, women, and so forth), references to the sport and physical culture movement were soon peppered throughout press and administrative reports, showing how rapidly the nomenclahlre of the new regime became standardized. The political nature of socialist sport was also captured in the word kainyakam (physical culture), which, like khabuan, was unusual before 1975. The word mirrored terms in other socialist countries, where "physical culture" was a critical element of "creative culhlre." Though never properly defined in the Lao context, the compound kila kainyakam (sport and physical culture) could be taken to encompass sportive physical activities organized by the state, the totality of which had political objectives. These would include official sport, physical education, and calisthenics, for instance, but not the national circus or dance. 86 The political nahlre of the sports movement was reinforced by its location in the Ministry of Education, Sport, and Religious Affairs (MESRA), one of the two ministries responsible for building the new socialist person. 87 MESRA was founded under the tutelage of Deputy Prime Minister and fourth-ranked Politburo member Phoumi Vongvichit. Meanwhile, the previous regime's Department of Youth and Sport was replaced by the Department of Sport, Physical Education, and Educational Arts (kom kila kainyaseuksa lac sinlapaseuksa). 88 This led to the curious sihlation of sport being grouped in state administration and discourse with art and sometimes literature, a rather unusual association of disciplines that was explained by the department's overriding goal of building the new socialist person. 89 Despite the rapid lexical and instihltional changes, there was little evidence of MESRA activity at first. But from late 1976, Ministry of Education reports declared that the sports department was "paying attention to building, mobilizing, and Documents of National Congress of the People's Representatives of Laos, in Brown and Zasloff, Apprentice Revolutionaries, p. 308. H6 Kainyakam could also refer more specifically to gymnastics, although this usage was rarer. ~ 7 The other ministry charged with this task was the Ministry of Information, Propaganda, Culture, and Tourism. Hs Youth was also a key field in soCialist Laos, becoming one of the mass organizations under the Lao Front for National Construction (as the LPF was renamed in 1979). 89 In practice, however, MESRA tended to deal with sport and physical education separately from the arts.

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pushing the sports movement far and wide among the masses." 90 The achievements, weak points, and remaining issues mentioned in reports created a picture of the department's priorities: expanding domestic competitions; holding special sports events on days of national and socialist significance; hosting "friendship" competitions with other countries and sending teams abroad; improving infrastructure and equipment; and increasing sport and physical culture facilities and activities for the masses. While some priorities were typical of those that predominated before 1975, the strength and unity of the party's underlying rhetoric of building the nation and socialism represented a strong point of departure. For instance, friendship competitions with foreign teams were, by and large, organized with "fraternal socialist countries," especially the Soviet Union, China (until 1979), and Vietnam, and sporting festivals celebrated occasions noted on the new ritual calendar, such as December 2 (National Day), May Day, Women's Day, and Army Day (January 20). Similar Cold War polemics were evident in mass sport. SPORT AND PHYSICAL CULTURE FOR THE MASSES

As we have seen, the masses (mahason) or the people (pasason) were defining motifs in party-state rhetoric. Unlike the situation under the previous regime, which was attacked for having favored phu nyai (big people), the masses would now be masters (pen chao) of the country's destiny. The party-state sought to enact this theme in sport and physical culture by imbuing the movement with "mass characteristics," a phrase that was scattered throughout departmental reports. A few years after the party's ascendancy, Phoumi launched a two-year plan reinforcing the objective of "pushing and strengthening sport and physical culture among the people, first and foremost among youth, among students in the schools and the army, among civil servants, workers, and laborers," as well as in factories and "units of basic production." Focusing on the mass level, Phoumi argued, would "connect sport and physical culture with-and serve the political tasks of-the party, construct socialism, and protect the nation." 91 Many of the "political objectives" of mass sport will already be clear. In terms of ideology, the masses were said to have a right (sit) to participate in sport and physical culture. A mass sports movement would thus embody the egalitarianism through which the party-state legitimized its rule. Second, the mass sports movement would build a "joyous" or "effervescent atmosphere" (banyakat muan seun beuk ban/banyakat Jot feun) among the people. This would not only encourage the construction of socialism, but improve the image of the new regime. Related to this objective were further benefits, such as building solidarity (samakkhi) and friendship (mittaphap) among the masses. Finally, sport and physical culture would benefit health and hygiene, an objective usually condensed in the claim that sport and physical culture made one strong and healthy (e.g., mi sukkhaphap khem khaeng/khaeng haeng, mi phalanamai). Strong and healthy bodies would serve the party by increasing the strength of laborers, thus increasing productivity, and improve national security by providing a large pool of healthy recruits from which defense forces could draw 90

91

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(the perception of military threats, particularly from Thailand, was ever present in early socialist Laos). 92 Corporeal health was not only advocated for its instrumental potential, but also viewed as a barometer of national strength; the human body stood as a metaphor for the nation. Other benefits, such as "solidarity" and "friendship," were also promoted for national reasons, particularly because of their implications of "national unity." Apposite here is Susan Brownell's concept of "somatization," which she uses to describe the way in which, in socialist China, "social tensions are expressed in bodily idiom, so that calls for their resolution often center on healing and strengthening the body." In response to the "devastating encounters" with Western imperialism, Brownell recounts, the strengthening of individual bodies "was linked to the salvation of the nation." 93 Though the scale was different in Laos, a similar association of body and nation could be observed there. Despite criticisms of nationalism in "bourgeois" sport, then, the nationalist function of sport was perhaps even stronger in modernizing socialist countries than in the non-socialist world. Despite its promotion of international socialism in conjunction with national concerns, Laos was no exception to this pattern. The "new socialist person" and the "mass sports movement" of Laos were very much nationalist motifs, as well as socialist ones. While the nationalist and socialist benefits of mass physical culture were fairly clear, the task of promoting sport for the people was more complicated. One of the most important means of promoting popular physical culture was though mass calisthenics or gymnastics (kainyaborihan), physical exercises performed with large numbers of participants in formation. Although this type of physical exercise had been part of the Lao sporting scene since the 1940s, its importance increased tremendously under socialism, probably as a result of its popularity in other socialist countries. Besides the socialist connection, calisthenics had obvious ideological and practical appeal. It ordered large numbers of bodies in collective synergy, reflecting the party-state desire to discipline the population at both local/ micro and national/ macro levels. In addition, it required a small ratio of trainers to participants and no special equipment. The party-state's vision for organizing calisthenics was ambitious in its reach and rationale. The sports department anticipated that regular calisthenics would be adopted "throughout the country," especially at schools, government offices, and other work places such as factories. Sessions were to take place in the morning or at lunchtime or during other breaks. It was also hoped that "radio calisthenics" programs would be broadcast from public address speakers erected in urban areas. The envisaged ubiquity of calisthenics was the key to its appeal. By delivering the benefits of healthful exercise to the widest possible number of people, it was anticipated that calisthenics would imbue the sport and physical culture movement with "mass characteristics" (laksana mahason). However, the sports department encountered many difficulties in propagating calisthenics; indeed, early reports usually discussed the discipline in the context of "weaknesses." Understandably, Phoumi reported the year immediately following the revolution that the "morning gymnastics movement" was "not yet in order." 94 This summary collates details in the MESRA and LOC reports cited throughout the essay. Brownell, Training the Body for China, p. 22. 94 MESRA, Summary, 1975-1976, p. 15. 92

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But the same complaint was echoed the following year, and criticism was sharper still in 1977-78. 95 The inadequate "propagation and instigation of calisthenics among the people," Phoumi reported, was evidence of sport and physical culture's lack of "widespread mass characteristics," as well as of the failure to recognize that work in this field was to "serve the political tasks of the party-state." 96 By the end of the decade, reports of morning and lunchtime calisthenics sessions were more positive, but only when describing activities in the towns and cities. In more remote areas, where villagers' participation was key if the state hoped to implement "mass sport," results remained disappointing. 97 Another means of expanding the mass sports movement was physical education (kainyaseuksa) in the schools. 98 We have already seen that, soon after the party came to power, MESRA published a primary school teachers' handbook, Sport and Physical Culture, an extraordinary 50,000 copies of which were printed. 99 According to the ministry's statistics for 1976-77, this supply would have been sufficient to provide more than ten books for each primary school (of which there were 4,395), just under four for each class (13,830) or one for every eight students (414,423). 100 More likely, many thousands were never distributed. Nonetheless, the large print run indicated the party-state's ambitious plans to push sport and physical culture in the expanding school system, and thousands of books presumably did make it into the schools. The handbook presented lessons in five areas: (1) drill (kanchattheo), (2) physical exercises (baephatkai), (3) walking and running (yang lae laen), (4) skipping (baeptenseuak), and (5) games (baeplin). These were divided into five grade levels, with around thirty lessons at each level, although each chapter made the point that teachers should only select exercises of a level that was manageable for pupils. Exercises reinforced the virtue of physicality, especially its ameliorative value vis-avis intellectual work. A characteristic exercise was done to the chant:

POM DA 08/14, MESRA, Sa/up pi seuksa 1976-1977 [Summary for academic year 1976-1977], September 5, 1977, p. 11. 96 DA 08/14, MESRA, Sa/up pi 1977 khong kasuang seuksa kila lae thammakan [Summary of the Ministry of Education, Sport, and Religious Affairs, 1977], December 16, 1977, p. 22. 97 PMO DA 08/22, MESRA, Kansangket tilakha viak ngan seuksa kila lae thammakan ton sok hian 1979-80 [Assessment of Education, Sport, and Religious Affairs Work for Academic Year 1979-80], May 30, 1980, pp. 17-19; PMO DA 08/15, MESRA, Salup viakngan seuksa kila lae thammakan 5 pi tae 1975 thoeng 1980 [Summary of Education, Sport, and Religious Affairs Work for the Five Years from 1975 to 1980], December 19, 1980, pp. 19-22. 98 It can be noted that a different term, phalaseuksa, was used for physical education in the Kingdom of Laos. The reason for the change is not known, though it may have been to distinguish the Lao term from the Thai. Phoumi Vongvichit, who led the party's nationalist language reforms, adopted several distinctive terms for those cases where the Lao was the same as the Thai. SeeN. J. Enfield, "Lao as a National Language," in Laos: Culture and Society, ed. Grant Evans (Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 1999). 99 The size of the print run was noted in the book itself and confirmed in a ministerial report. There is some doubt regarding its publication date. While the book gave 1976, publication was not noted in the ministerial report until October 1977. MESRA, Kila kainyakam, front cover; PMO DA 08/13. MESRA, Salup viakngan deuan 10 khong kasuang seuksathikan kila Iae thammakan [Summary of Ministry of Education, Sport, and Religious Affairs Work October], October 28, 1977, p. 2. 100 MESRA (Summary 1976-77), p. 2. 95

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In addition, the book urged teachers to foster traits such as "demonstrating loyalty [khwam satseu] towards classmates and teachers" and "increasing the spirit of mutual mastery [chitchai pen chao kan] in disciplined conduct [malanyat /abiap vinai], in exercising and playing with alertness and rigor [khwam tontua lae khemnguat]." 102 It is hard to know to what extent these incantations were applied in teaching practice, though one informant of the right age recalled her teachers urging "at than, at than" (keep going, keep going) in physical education class. 103 To some extent, at least, physical education put the policies of the party-state into practice. But while many incantations had a socialist ring to them, games were also to be played with solidarity (samakkhi), principles (kotlabiap), and grace (malanyat an dingam), motifs attached to physical training since French colonial times and throughout the postcolonial period. 104 The recycling of existing themes showed not only how universal these were in sport and in Lao culture-this was especially true of samakkhi-but also how such benefits were appropriated by each of the state ideologies that prospered in twentieth-century Laos. If these themes sounded very serious, the handbook insisted above all that games must be played "with fun and enjoyment" (duai khwam boekban muanseun). 105 Despite the apparent contradiction, enjoyment was a key objective of the socialist sport and physical culture movement, though always for the instrumentalist reason of bolstering support for socialism, rather than for its inherent value. Teacher training was another measure implemented to expand physical education, though details of the program are slightly unclear. In 1976, the sports department conducted research into a curriculum for a physical education school, and aPE teacher-training school appears to have been established in 1978, probably in Thongpong, on the outskirts of Vientiane. 10 " The following year, however, Phoumi's two-year education plan demanded that a location be identified for a physical education and arts teacher-training school. 107 Perhaps the demand was for a new location for a school that combined the disciplines. Whatever the case, twentytwo trainees passed at the "first level" of PE training in 1978-79, and an additional The Lao original was kom lai mcuai aeo I khian lai meuai khaen I hat kai baep ni cheung hai itmaeuai. MESRA, Kila kainyakam, p. 37.

101

Ibid., p. 71. Interview with an informant who was a primary school student in Laos in the 1980s. 10• For a discussion of the late-colonial (Vichy-period) sport and youth movements in Indochina, see the work of Eric Jennings and Anne Raffin (though neither has a great deal to say on Laos specifically): Eric Jennings, Vichy in the Tropics: Petain's National Revolution in Madagascar, Guadeloupe, and Indochina, 1940-1944. Anne Raffin, Youth Mobilization in Vichy Indochina and its Legacies, 1940 to 1970. For the postcolonial period, see Simon Creak, "Sport and the Theatrics of Power in a Postcolonial State"; and Simon Creak, "Representing True Laos in Postcolonial Southeast Asia." 10 s MESRA, Kila kainyakam, p. 105. 106 MESRA, Summary, 1975-1976, p. 14; Summary, Five Years from 1975 to 1980, p. 20. It seems probable that the school in question was the same one that still exists at Thongpong, on Route 13 (North) heading out of Vientiane, though this is not confirmed in the sources. 107 MESRA, Plan 1979-80 to 1980-81, p. 31.

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thirty were newly admitted at the "middle level." 108 By 1980, the school had apparently produced a total of fifty-one graduates and expected to receive another twenty-nine trainees by the year's end. 10Y In 1983, the school was reported to have twenty-six teachers and 135 students, and to have matriculated fifty-three graduates at the middle level, though it was unclear to which period this report appliedY 0 These were not especially large numbers, but they demonstrated recognition that expanding physical education in the schools would require the development of human resources. Yet despite the handbook and modest advances in teacher training, physical education was, like calisthenics, more often than not a disappointment. While it was not surprising that the number of PE teachers was "very lacking" in 1976, the same problem was reported a year later and again in 1978. 111 Even after the PE teachertraining school was opened, the shortage of teachers remained a perennial problem, mentioned in virtually every report. The lack of teachers was symptomatic of wider failures in the national physical education program. Despite the claim that "schools of every level" had "considered the important matter" of "educating and building the new person with strong health and complete energy" (mi sukkaphap khemkheng mi phalanamai sombun), the department regretted that "teachers of sport and physical education have not answered the call in some localities." These areas "lacked leaders" and "played their own way." Most worrying of all, schools in some areas offered no sports or physical education whatsoever. 112 A further problem faced by schools and the mass sports movement in general concerned equipment and infrastructure. Receipts from the national stadium and swimming pool allow us to track some of the funds that supported the sports department, but there is no other information to show how the department was funded. 113 Most likely it received its budgetary funds through general revenues, and, no doubt owing to the economic difficulties of the period, these resources appear to have been woefully insufficient. Lack of equipment (uppakon) and material scarcities (kankhat vathu) were commented upon constantly. 114 In the face of state shortfalls, a spirit of self-sufficiency was encouraged, in keeping with Kaysone's austerity calls for self-reliance. By way of example, the department reported in one month in 1977 that it had produced fourteen rattan balls for sepak takraw! 115 In this spirit, it was expected that schools, offices, and districts would construct their own sports infrastructure, including courts, fields, and other paraphernalia. In reality, however, the promotion of self-sufficiency simply transferred blame for the lack of resources from the department to other institutions. Characteristically, PMO DA 08/14, MESRA, Salup pi hian 1978-79, Summary of Academic Year 1978-79, July (n.d.) 1979, p. 7. 109 MESRA, Summary, Five Years from 1975 to 1980, p. 20; MESRA, Assessment 1979-80, p. 17. 110 DA 08/34, MESRA, Botlaingan saphap kanseuksa 6 deuan ton pi 1983 [Report on the State of Education, First Six Months of 1983], July 1983, p. 4. m MESRA, Summary 1975-76, p. 14; Summary 1976-77, p. 12; Summary 1977-78, p. 22. 112 MESRA, Summary, Five Years from 1975 to 1980, pp. 20-21; MESRA, Assessment 1979-80. 113 For instance, the department received 200,000 kip in receipts from the swimming pool in 1977. 114 MESRA, Summary, Five Years from 1975 to 1980, p. 20; for criticism of facilities and equipment, see MESRA reports, passim. 115 MESRA, Summary, October 1977. 108

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the department reported in 1978 that "districts, offices, [and] organizations are yet to develop and innovate in order to build a sufficient material basis for sport and physical education: e.g., parallel bars and high bars, fields for long jump, high jump, sepak takraw." 116 Of course, passing the buck to other bodies was further tacit admission of the party-state's failure to develop sport and physical culture with "mass" characteristics. This failure was usually cloaked in terms of growth in sport and physical culture in various localities being "commensurate with actual conditions" (mosom kap saphap tua ching). 117 Overall, the new regime's development of a mass sport and physical culture movement failed to realize fully its objectives. A damning catalogue of "weak points" in a departmental report captured many of the relevant issues. The sport and physical culture movement was not "effervescent" (fat deuat, lit. boil) or "even" (samam samoe). While development was satisfactory in certain urban areas, especially the districts of Vientiane prefecture, it remained poor in the countryside. The morning and midday calisthenics movement was "still small," creating a vicious circle in which physical training methods did not "conform to principles," which further restricted the expansion and popularity of the exercise regimen. Relations between the ministry and sports departments in the provinces were poor, and there was, as yet, no understanding of how "sport and physical culture work could serve the political tasks of the party." Indeed, the movement was characterized as tam pen tam koet (what will be will be). The fault lay with the failure to seek out ways to press the movement forward and to give it "revolutionary effervescence" (fotfeun pativat). Like others, this report reiterated the finding that there was too little sport and too few PE teachers in the schools, as well as noting the inadequacy of available equipment and sporting venues. School councils failed to recognize clearly the importance of work in sport and physical culture and tended to observe these activities half-heartedly (baa). In summary, the movement was stymied by a culture of reliance upon "upper levels." 118 The irony that the centralized transformation of society was exactly what the party prescribed was not commented upon, if, indeed, it occurred to anyone. Such reports demonstrated the failure to establish a mass sport and physical movement outside of the main cities. While by 1980 the department boasted of sport and physical culture movements in many provincial centers, "rural and mountainous areas" were another matter, remaining hopelessly "undeveloped" (nyang bo mi khwan kaona). For this reason, the sport and physical culture movement was "not yet a true movement of the masses" (nyang bo than khabuan khong mahason yang thae ching), according to the ministry. 119 It was notable that reports, in this context, used the phrase "not yet" (nyang bo than), for this implied improvement was imminent. But the failure was significant, since spreading sport "from the center to the grassroots" was a principal goal of the department, just as the "grassroots" was a defining motif of party discourse more generally. Several years later, the Lao Olympic Committee wrote that the department had failed during this earlier period "to expand the right m MESRA, Summary 1977-78, p. 22. MESRA, Summary, Five Years from 1975 to 1980, p. 20. 118 PMO DA 08/13, MESRA, Sa/up phon khong kankuatka lae kepkam saphap kanseksa khweng kamphaeng viangchan [Summarized Results of Inspection of Educational Conditions, Vientiane Prefecture] [no date, 1980?], pp. 15-16. 119 MESRA, Summary, Five Years from 1975 to 1980, pp. 21-22. 117

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of the masses to be masters of socialist sport." 120 The other major criticism of mass sport, linked to the first, was its failure in political and ideological terms. As we have seen, reports regularly criticized sport and physical culture's failure to serve the "political tasks of the party," which meant it was not bolstering the revolution adequately. Another criticism, presented in a report summarizing the first ten years of socialist sport, noted the failure to link mass sport to productivity and national defense. 121 In sum, the same criticisms of pre-1975 sport continued to be leveled at the new sporting structure promoted by the party-state. Ironically, given the name and mission of the "people's party," the people themselves were conspicuously absent from explanations of the program's failure. Reports never suggested that the general population might have rejected the programs, along with other socialist projects, as an unwelcome imposition on their already difficult lives. 122 This was not particularly surprising. Admitting lack of popular interest would have undermined the legitimacy of the party, whereas faceless and nameless cadres were an easy target of criticism. But, in all likelihood, farmers and workers had enough physical exertion in their lives already. The decade after 1975 was characterized by drought, restrictions on trade, and general austerity. While Kaysone publically celebrated embracing austerity to forge a stronger will, these were hardly ideal conditions to foster the physical transformation of society. Nevertheless, popular reception of the party's program lies outside the main concerns of this essay. The point to emphasize here is that the project to promote mass physical culture in Laos failed to get off the ground, undermining a central tenet of the party's plans for physical renovation. COLD WAR PHYSICAL CULTURES IN LAOS

Just as the socialist person in Laos was a physical person, socialist culture was, in many ways, a physical culture. Not only was the new socialist person to acquire physical strength and health, but, more broadly, physical values were privileged above mental ones during this era in Laos, and, more broadly again, the entire project of socialist transformation was couched in a physical idiom. Yet these cultures were characterized by a series of paradoxes arising from their location at the intersection of rhetoric and practice. The first paradox arose from the party-state's inability to realize fully its vision of a mass sport and physical culture movement, which in obvious ways was the most concrete dimension of the new physical society. Yet, more broadly, socialist culture had a momentous impact on physicality, and vice versa, through the rhetoric, ideas, and ideology of socialism. This proposition argues for a wider definition of physical culture than one limited to physical practices; physical culture, in this sense, refers to the concern with physicality, which emerges at the junction between culture, particularly ideas and language, and the body. One of the most defining features of the new society-far more successful than even the party could have envisaged-was the violent condemnation of independent To some extent, this critique was probably based on the fact the LOC was not founded until the end of 1978. But the statistics, such as they exist, support the proposition. LOC, Overall summary, 1978-86, p. 3. 121 MESRA, Report of ten-year period (1975-1985). 122 The obvious parallel here is agricultural collectivization. See Evans, Lao Peasants under Socialism. 120

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thought, as the party became thinker for the nation. In place of thought, the physical realm was glorified through motifs of labor. In addition, notions of social progress were expressed in a corporeal idiom, placing the metaphorical body at the center of contemporary history. While this awareness-even obsession-with physicality was produced and reproduced in speeches, reports, and the press, it was never restricted to words. It resulted in the mass physical traumas of imprisonment, reeducation, and relocation. In particular, the party's anti-intellectualism explains why teachers and other educated people left the country in such disproportionately large numbers. Even though the mass sport and physical culture movement failed, the physical culture of socialist Laos-embedded in the rhetoric of the party-state-had a drastic impact on Lao culture and society, fundamentally changing the relationship between the body and the state. Cold War ideological sensibilities, expressed in Laos in the idioms "new socialist culture" and "new socialist person," intensified the awareness of, and concern with, physicality. This is to say, notions of the physical emerged from the mental and rhetorical realms, the opposite of the physical in the ideology of the Lao party-state. This final paradox resides at the heart of all renderings and analysis of the physical: how, considering what poststructural approaches have taught us, can meaning be formed and mediated, if not through language and representation? However, this paradox is not sufficiently recognized in studies of the body and physicality, and, when it is commented upon, it is usually raised as a methodological, rather than epistemological, issue. 123 The cultural and ideological battles of the Cold War, fought at the intersection of rhetoric and physicality, provide particularly fertile ground for exploring the production of physical realities in linguistic and cultural representations. 123 See, for example, Kathleen Canning, "The Body as Method? Reflections on the Place of the Body in Gender History," Gender & History 11,3 (1999); and V. Mackie and C. S. Stevens, "Globalisation and Body Politics," Asian Studies Review 33,3 (2009).

STILL STUCK IN THE MUD: IMAGINING WORLD LITERATURE DURING THE COLD WAR IN INDONESIA AND VIETNAM Tony Day

1924 ... Finished the poem Lenin. Read it at many workers' gatherings. I've been very much afraid of that poem, since it would have been easy to descend to the level of the simple political tale. The reaction of the working class audience delighted me and strengthened my confidence in the poem's topicality. I travel abroad a great deal. European technology, industrialism, attempt to combine them with the still stuck-in-the-mud former Russia-the eternal ideal of the LEF futurist. Valdimir Mayakovsky, from I Myself(l928) 1 Though little translated into other languages and scarcely marketed or noticed in Europe, the Americas, Africa, or China, the modern literatures of Southeast Asia express "world" culture, the product of global, cross-cultural interactions extending over continents and seas for centuries. But how should we describe the discursive world(s), the global cultural spaces, which have shaped, and been shaped by, the arts of Southeast Asia in specific, world-historical terms? There are a number of approaches to this question from which we can choose. 2 In the discussion that follows, I want to engage with two important models for studying "world literature" in order to gain a better understanding of the forces shaping tht; writing of Southeast Asian literature during the Cold War, particularly during the mid-1950s. My thanks to Keith Foulcher and the readers for SEAP Publications for their incisive criticisms and suggestions to an earlier version of this essay. 1 Vladimir Mayakovsky, Selected Works in Three Volumes. 1. Selected Verse (Moscow: Raduga Publishers, 1985), p. 42. Mayakovsky, about whom more below, was the legendary poet of the Russian Revolution, a member of the Russian avant-garde literary movement known as Futurism, and one of the editors of the journal LEF ("Left Front of the Arts," 1923-25). 2 For a discussion of some of these approaches, see Tony Day, "Locating Indonesian Literature in the World," Modern Language Quarterly 68, 2 (June 2007): 173-93.

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WORLD REPUBLIC OF LETTERS OR WRITERS' INTERNATIONAL?

Drawing on Immanuel Wallerstein's "world-systems" model of the modern capitalist global economy, which posits an unequal relationship between a dominant "core" and subservient "peripheries," comparative literature scholar Pascale Casanova defines what she calls "world literary space" of the mid-nineteenth to late twentieth centuries. According to Casanova, this space is . . . organized in terms of the opposition between, on the one hand, an autonomous pole composed of those spaces that are most endowed in literary resources, which serves as a model and a recourse for writers claiming a position of independence in newly formed spaces (with the result that Paris emerged as a "denationalized" universal capital and a specific measure of literary time was established); and, on the other, a heteronymous pole composed of relatively deprived literary spaces at early stages of development that are dependent on political-typically national-authorities. 3 This bipolar global world of literary activity is reproduced within each "national space," where "national" and "international writers" compete with one another. Such literary antagonisms are homologous to the tug and pull between "the autonomous and unifying pole of world literary space," centered in a cosmopolitan center like Paris, and "the inertial forces that work to divide and particularize by essentializing differences, reproducing outmoded models, and nationalizing and commercializing literary life" at home in a writer's "national space." 4 Mediating in a crucial way between the cosmopolitan literary center and the "relatively deprived literary spaces" of the peripheries is translation. Translated works from the center introduce writers to the latest modern trends; translations of writers on the periphery help to "denationalize" them and provide them with global "recognition," even "consecration" in the form of international audiences and literary prizes. 5 Casanova lays primary emphasis on "modernism" 6 and its influence, via the translations of the work of such leading innovators of literary form as James Joyce and William Faulkner, on the development of literature in so-called peripheral regions around the world. If "modernism" is a keyword for conceptualizing world literature in one way, some kind of "realism," whether "socialist" or "magical," is Pascale Casanova, The World Republic of Letters (Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard University Press, 2004), p. 108. 4 Ibid., p. 109.

3

Ibid., pp. 133-37 and passim. Quoting from Malcolm Bradbury and Lames McFarlane, eds., Modernism: A Guide to European Literature, 1890-1930 (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1991 [1976), p. 27), Keith Foulcher characterizes modernism as "a specific response to the conditions of early twentieth-century European history. It was an art 'consequent on the dis-establishing of communal reality and conventional notions of causality, on the destruction of traditional notions of wholeness of individual character, on the linguistic chaos that ensues when public notions of language have been discredited and when all realities have become subjective fictions."' See Keith Foulcher's excellent "Rivai Apin and the Modernist Aesthetic in Indonesian Poetry," BKI [Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde]157,4 (2001): 782 and passim.

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another. 7 Michael Denning argues that "the international of writers" who shared the African-American writer Richard Wright's (1908-60) perception of "'the similarity of the experience of workers in other lands ... [and of the possibility] of uniting scattered but kindred peoples into a whole'" 8 began to take shape even before the October Revolution of 1917, as exemplified by the writings of the Russian Maxim Gorky (1868-1936), whose 1907 novel Mother and early short stories were quickly translated into European languages. 9 According to Denning, "proletarian literary movements," which dealt variously with workers' movements, subaltern living conditions, or the migration of workers from the countryside to the city, developed in four different situations: countries with communist movements and regimes; nations with repressive authoritarian governments; the creole countries of the Americas; and "the colonized regions of Asia and Africa." 10 Indonesia and Vietnam share some of the characteristics of all four contexts in which proletarian literary movements developed. Their modern literatures also display many of the forms and themes of European modernism. The mid-1950s, in particular, are an important liminal period in the cultural history of both countries, a period when not only literature and the writer's role in society but also the very nature of the national community were being hotly debated and violently contested. 11 Notwithstanding the Cold War rivalries among and interventions in Southeast Asia by the United States, the Soviet Union, and China, which shaped the ways in which both modernism and realism were understood as aesthetic concepts in the context of the struggle to define the nation, it was Southeast Asian writers themselves who gave these critical terms their local meanings, which did not always conform to, and, indeed, often conflated, Cold War ideological categoriesY Odd Westad writes that "the most important aspects of the Cold War were neither Michael Denning, "The Novelists' International," in The Novel, Volume 1: History, Geography, and Culture, ed. Franco Moretti (Princeton, NJ, and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2006), pp. 703-25. 8 Ibid., pp. 703--4. Denning is quoting from Wright's memoir, Black Boy. 9 Ibid., pp. 706-7. Denning mentions several other European, North American, and South Asian writers born in the mid- to late-nineteenth century, as well as the Chinese short-story writer and essayist Lu Xun (1881-1936), as major pre-1917 socialist realist authors. Lu Xun's first short story," A Madman's Diary," which was influenced by Gogol's "Diary of a Madman" (1834), was published in 1918 (Lu Xun mentions Gogol in essays he wrote in 1907 while he was studying medicine in Japan). The first Chinese translation of Gogol's story appeared in 1921. See Wong Yoon Wah, Essays on Chilzese Literature: A Comparative Approach (Singapore: Singapore University Press, 1988), p. 55. 10 Denning, "International," pp. 711-12. 11 My thought here is based on Shawn McHale's comment that in 1958, the philosopher Tr'an Due Thao' s Vietnam was still a " ... 'community' under negotiation" (see Shawn McHale, "Vietnamese Marxism, Dissent, and the Politics of Postcolonial Memory: Iran Due Thao, 1946-1993," The Journal of Asian Studies 61,1 [2002]: 21), and on my own discussion of the mid1950s as a fluid and formative period in cultural relations between newly independent Indonesia and the United States, " Honoured Guests: Indonesian-American Cultural Traffic, 1953-57," to appear in a collection of essays edited by Maya Liem and Jennifer Lindsay. 12 Denning reinforces this point when he observes: "[T]he two leading transnational terms [in mainstream literary criticism]-realism and modernism-were so embedded in the cultural cold war that they became mere honorifics, with little actual meaning. In the communist world, favored writers were proclaimed realists; in the capitalist world, they were deemed modernists." See Denning, "International," p. 705. Denning points out that works of writers on the Left like Brecht and Lu Xun fit into both categories.

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military nor strategic, nor Europe-centered, but connected to political and social development in the Third World." 13 One of the premises of this essay is that, while military violence in Southeast Asia during the Cold War should not be downplayed, cultural expression should be added to Westad's list of "important aspects" of the Cold War in Southeast Asia that deserve to be investigated. In order to do so, it makes sense to draw on and combine critical ideas and approaches from both Casanova and Denning. In the discussion that follows, Denning's idea of an "international" of realist writers helps us understand why Southeast Asian writers adopted certain styles and read certain authors and not others in the quest for modernity in the context of a struggle for postcolonial national independence and identity. Notwithstanding her great interest in Third World authors who achieved international recognition through translation, Casanova's model of the "world republic of letters" is so explicit in its reliance on Wallerstein's Eurocentric model of the world system that it, in fact, brings into sharp relief the variety of global orientations to be found among Southeast Asian intellectuals and artists. While she is too critical of nationalism to be helpful with developing an approach to Southeast Asian writers who were cosmopolitan in outlook, yet also intensely committed to participating in the development of their national communities, her insights into the key role played by translation in creating world literature are important for encouraging an examination of the way translation shaped literary imaginations in Southeast Asia during the Cold War. THE COLD WAR IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

Southeast Asia was one of the hottest Third World battlegrounds engaged in the Cold War rivalry between the United States and the Sino-Soviet bloc. Westad's observation that "Cold War ideologies and superpower interventions ... helped put a number of Third World countries in a state of semi-permanent civil war" 14 certainly applies to the process by which the new nation-states in Indonesia and Vietnam came into existence during the 1950s and 1960s. Indonesia, established after five years of revolutionary struggle as a nonaligned, unitary republic in 1950, underwent CIA-backed regional rebellions, fierce ideological polarization (intensified by US, Soviet, and PRC [People's Republic of China] interventions), and a civil conflict in which hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives. 15 Proclaimed in September 1945 by H6 Chf Minh, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam expelled the French from Vietnam in 1954, but failed to bring about free elections and the reunification of the country as stipulated by the Geneva Accords. The United States refused to agree to elections scheduled for 1956, helped transport 860,000 Catholic refugees to the South, and set about building an anti-communist state based in Saigon headed by the Hue Catholic Ng6 Dinh Di~m. Di~m impressed the initially skeptical Eisenhower government with his fierce suppression of communists and religious sectarian Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Time (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2005), p. 396. 14 Ibid., p. 398. 15 See M. C. Ricklefs, A History of Modem Indonesia si11ce c. 1300 (Basingstoke and London: The Macmillan Press Ltd., 1993), pp. 237-83; Audrey R. Kahin and George MeT. Kahin, Subversion as Foreign Policy: The Secret Eisenhower and Dulles Debacle in Indonesia (Seattle, WA, and London: University of Washington Press, 1997); and Westad, The Global Cold War, pp. 185-88.

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armies. Di~m's "democratic one-man rule" 16 created social and political chaos, however, and he was assassinated by an American-backed military coup in 1963, two years before the Americans helped another army to power in Indonesia. By 1955, the threat posed to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam by the growing United States intervention led to a policy of political consolidation first, national reunification second: "Build the North, look to the South" went the slogan. In the cities, private enterprise and "bourgeois experts" were supported in the interest of economic development. A Fatherland Front was established to elicit the participation of all patriots in the national effort. But the influence of China and of Mao Zedong's ideas, which had been steadily growing since 1948, stimulated class warfare and land reform in the countryside. 17 Launched in 1954 and brought to a halt in September 1956, the land-reform campaign caused the deaths of more than 15,000 people, tore apart the fabric of village life, and generated bitter anger and resentment, forcing the Vietnamese Workers' Party and H6 Chi Minh to admit that "serious mistakes" had been committed. Khrushchev's denunciation of Stalin and the "cult of personality" at the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party in Moscow in February 1956 may also have played a role in encouraging the Vietnamese leadership to reevaluate its policies. In other important areas, however, such as the decision in the North to support communist insurrection in the South from 1960 onward, Northern leaders ignored Chinese and Soviet policy positions, neither of which supported Southeast Asian insurgency in the late 1950s and early 1960sY Di~m and his family "violated every article" of the US Cold War agenda for the South, except the violent suppression of communism. 19 The historical sketch above suggests a shared pattern of Cold War experience in Southeast Asia. Different parts of the region were in historical sync with one another, their destinies shaped and drawn toward parallel trajectories by the policies of the competing superpowers and by postcolonial forms of Southeast Asian resistance to those policies. Before 1965, broadly speaking, political forces on the Left and Right in Indonesia fought it out until a strong centralized state, aligned with the Right and the West, emerged. In Vietnam over roughly the same period, a struggle between Left and Right occurred, resulting in a Cold War division of the country into two parts; a united Vietnamese nation-state aligned with the Left became the eventual victor in 1975. It is reasonable to say, adapting Benedict Anderson's label for and comment on the "American Era" in Thailand during the period between 1958 and 1973, that Indonesia and Vietnam were in many ways all "profoundly influenced," if not transformed, by the "Cold War Era" from 1945 to 1975 in Southeast Asian history. 20

16 Wesley R. Fishel, "Vietnam's Democratic One-Man Rule," New Leader, November 2, 1959, pp. 10-13, quoted in Frances Fitzgerald, Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam (New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1973), p. 119. 17 McHale, "Vietnamese Marxism," p. 11. 1H Westad, The Global Cold War, pp. 181-82; William J. Duiker, Ho Chi Minh (New York, NY: Theia, 2000), pp. 462-514; and Fitzgerald, Fire in the Lake, pp. 96-184. 19 Fitzgerald, Fire in the Lake, p. 119. 20 Benedict R. O'G. Anderson and Ruchira Mendiones, eds., In the Mirror: Literature and Politics in Siam in the American Era (Bangkok: Editions Duang Kamol, 1985), p. 19.

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FOUR COLD WAR WRITERS

If we turn our attention to Southeast Asian literary history in the same period, the transformative effect of the Cold War, which is so clearly evident in the violent political shifts that occurred, is more ambiguous. One complicating factor is the lack of continuity between pre- and postcolonial imperial "literature-worlds," as Casanova calls the enduring "linguistic-cultural areas" formed by Anglophone, Francophone, and Hispanic imperial and post-imperial formations. 21 While London and Paris continued to serve as centers of literary recognition for postcolonial authors "writing back" in imperial languages from post-colonies in India and Africa throughout the Cold War, the same cannot be said of the former cultural capitals of American and European empire in Southeast Asia: New York, London, Amsterdam, and Paris have little significance in the literary history of Southeast Asia and were visited by only a few literary sojourners from the region, most of whom continued to write in their own native and/ or national languages rather than in the languages of the former colonialists. As a result, the cosmopolitanism of Southeast Asian Cold War writers never developed in or was oriented toward a single Western or Asian literary post-imperial center. Southeast Asian literature-worlds became visible instead on polycentric maps that included the major cities of Southeast Asia, former capitals of defunct precolonial kingdoms, villages, and regions where authors were born and raised speaking regional languages or dialects, and the distant places of origin for imported literary models from Europe, America, the Soviet Union, or China. To form a clearer picture of what Southeast Asian literature-worlds looked like during the Cold War, I want to discuss four Southeast Asian authors and critics from Indonesia and Vietnam. H. B. Jassin (a literary critic), Asrul Sani (an essayist and poet), Pramoedya Ananta Toer (a short-story writer and novelist), and Tr'an D'an (a poet, novelist, and painter) lived and traveled in different parts of Southeast Asia during the 1950s and 1960s, wrote in different genres, and embraced different ideological positions during the Cold War. Although my discussion of them will be uneven in terms of detail and insight (with my research on Tr'an D'an at the most elementary stage), I cover enough ground to suggest that, if we consider the work of these writers as an intellectual ensemble, certain patterns of experience and thinking about literature emerge that suggest fundamental commonalities connecting them to one another. These men grew up in different colonial environments and were personally committed to politics in different ways, but they gave expression to "world literary spaces" that were not confined to the national, political, or ideological boundaries within which each writer lived. Southeast Asian Cold War spaces, these examples suggest, extended across the globe according to different coordinates, ones that corresponded more closely to the nonaligned cultural locations of the Africans and Asians who met in Bandung in 1955 than to the Cold War boundaries decreed by American or Soviet ideologues. These coordinates began to come into view at the first international conference on Indonesian literature held in Amsterdam on June 26, 1953. 22 The meeting was Casanova, The World Republic, p. 117. See Keith Foulcher, "On a Roll: Pramoedva and the Postcolonial Transition," Indonesian Studies Working Papers No.4, The University of Sydney, January 2008, pp. 3 and 7-9. Foulcher's essay can be accessed online at: www.arts.usyd.edu.au/departs/indonesian/series/papers. shtml. 21

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sponsored by Sticusa, the Foundation for Cultural Cooperation that had been established as a result of the Cultural Accord between the Netherlands and Indonesia in 1949?3 This agreement guaranteed a Dutch cultural presence in postindependence Indonesia; continuing Dutch economic dominance was already a source of friction and national debate. In a congress (kongres) on the "national culture" held in Jakarta in August 1950 to discuss the implications of the Cultural Accord, the pre-war "great debate" 24 about how to create a "modern" Indonesian culture resurfaced. On the one hand, the Indonesian Minister for Education, Training, and Culture, Ki Hadjar Dewantara (1889-1959), who had founded a school system before the war that drew on traditional Javanese as well as avant-garde Western concepts, rejected a Dutch- and Western-centric notion of modernity, declared that the Cultural Accord with the Netherlands was a diplomatic defeat for Indonesia, and urged that Indonesia independently seek closer cultural ties with Asia. 25 As he had during the 1930s, on the other hand, the Sumatran writer and editor Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana (1908-94) argued that Indonesians should embrace Western culture and continue to seek access to it by cementing close, postcolonial cultural relations with the Netherlands. Most of the other speakers and discussants at the conference attacked the neocolonial nature of the Cultural Accord and criticized Western European and American cultural influences on the developing national culture of Indonesia. 26 Notwithstanding what appears to have been a consensus among participants on the negative features of the 1949 cultural agreement with the Dutch, the conference resolved to support it in principle. Three concerns that emerged from the August 1950 conference came to form the principal leitmotif of literary debates in Indonesia in later years: what to do about regional and Asian cultures in the pursuit of modernity?; what to do about postcolonial cultural influences from Europe and the United States in independent Indonesia?; and, finally, notwithstanding both these concerns, participants expressed a strong desire for cultural dialogue with the rest of the world. These issues were immediately addressed in two important cultural manifestos that were published that same year, one issued by the liberal Gelanggang (Arena) group founded by a For a discussion of the history of Indonesian cultural policy, see Tod Jones, "Indonesian Cultural Policy, 1950-2003: Culture, Institutions, Government" (PhD dissertation, Curtin University of Technology, 2005). Jones's thesis is available online at: http: I I espace.library. curtin.edu.auiR?func=search-simple-go&ADJACENT=Y&REQU EST=adt-WCU20061128. 113236. 24 The phrase is one coined by Claire Holt to characterize the "polemics on culture" that took place among Indonesian writers, artists, and intellectuals in the colonial 1930s. Holt's discussion is still the best general treatmeRt of the "great debate" and the contribution of Indonesia's modern painters to it. See her Art in Indonesia: Continuities and Change (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1967), pp. 211-54. 25 Keith Foulcher, Social Commitment in Literature and the Arts: The Indonesian "Institute of People's Culture" 1950-1965 (Clayton: Monash University Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, 1986), p. 16. I have looked at Dutch versions of the speeches by Dewantara, Takdir, and the other presenters, as well as Indonesian press reactions to the congress published in the first number of Sticusa's monthly publication, Cultureel Nieuws Indonesie 1950 [Cultural News Indonesia 1950] 1 (October 1950): 2-46. Dewantara's "Asianism" expressed a cultural orientation strongly present in the writings of other major pre-war Indonesian intellectuals, one that was reinforced by Japanese policies during the occupation (1942-45). See Ethan Mark, "'Asia's' Transwar Lineage: Nationalism, Marxism, and 'Greater Asia' in an Indonesian Inflection," The Journal of Asian Studies 65,3 (2006): 461-93. 2" See Cultureel Nieuws Indonesie 1950 1 (October 1950): 1-31.

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number of writers and painters in 1946 and associated with the weekly journal Siasat (Strategy)/ 7 the other from the Marxist cultural organization Lekra (Lembaga Kebudajaan Rakjat, Institute of People's Culture), which was founded on August 17, 1950, in response to the failure of the congress on national culture a week earlier to repudiate the Cultural Accord. 28 Despite their divergent politics, both manifestos used similar language to claim the whole world, and not just the positive aspects of past or future cultural relations with the Netherlands, as a source for the development of modern Indonesian culture. 29 From late 1950 onward, literary debate in Indonesia took place in an atmosphere of intensifying crisis affecting every aspect of daily life. Merle Ricklefs provides a vivid and succinct overview of the conditions affecting intellectual life during the period between 1950 and 1953. 30 Those conditions included: an expanding population; continuing foreign control of the economy, which was subjected to steadily rising prices and the rapid fall of export revenue with the end of the Korean War export boom; instability in the government and corruption among the political parties; and unrest within the armed forces, as the central command came into conflict with regional commanders over the demobilization of troops at the end of the revolution. In the February 1953 issue of one of the several liberal cultural journals he helped edit, the critic H. B. Jassin (1917-2000) offered an assessment of the literary achievements of the previous ten years, one that reveals some of the significant literary effects of the crisis but, interestingly, makes no explicit mention of the Cold War. 31 On Gelanggang and the writers associated with it, see A. Teeuw, Modem Indonesian Literature, vol. I (Lei den: KITL V Press, 1994), pp. 115, 126-34; and Martina Heinschke, "Between Gelanggang and Lekra: Pramoedya's Developing Literary Concepts," Indonesia 61 (April1996): 145-69. 28 The best history and analysis of Lekra, including translations of writings by the major Lekra writers, is still Foulcher, Social Commitment. 29 "We are the legitimate heirs of world culture, and we pursue this culture in our own way" (Kami adalah ahli waris yang sah dari kebudayaan dunia dan kebudayaan ini kami teruskan dengan cara kami sendiri), in the opening words of the "Gelanggang Testament," published in Siasat on February 18, 1950; for the full text in English, see Teeuw, Modern Indonesian Literature, I, p. 127; for the Indonesian text, see Asrul Sani, Surat-surat Kepercayaan (Testaments), ed. Ajip Rosidi Qakarta: Pustaka Jaya, 1997), pp. 3-4. Asrul was one of the three founding editors of Siasat and a coauthor of the "Testament." The Lekra "Manifesto" of August 17, 1950, emphasizes the needs of the "people" and explicitly attacks colonialism in ways that the "Gelanggang Testament" does not, but it offers a nearly identical perspective on world culture: "The attitude of a People's Culture to foreign cultures is in no way one of enmity. The essence of progressive foreign cultures will be drawn on as much as possible in furthering the development of an Indonesian people's culture. However, in drawing on that essence, we will not slavishly copy anything." See Foulcher, Social Commitment, p. 217; for the entire Indonesian text and the rest of Foulcher' s translation of it, see Social Commitment, pp. 209-17. 30 Ricklefs, A History, pp. 237-46. 31 "Selamat Tinggal Tahun '52" [Farewell to '52], Zenith 3,2 (Februari 1953): 66-77. This essay has been republished as "Perhitungan 1952" [Assessment 1952] in the third printing of Jassin's collected essays, Kesusasteraan Indonesia Modern dalam Kritik dan Esei [Modern Indonesian Literature in Criticism and Essay], I (Djakarta: Gunung Agung, 1962), pp. 113-20 and in his published letters as "Kepada M. Balfas, Jakarta, 31 Desember 1952" [ToM. Balfas, Jakarta, 31 December 1952], in Surat-surat 1943-1983 [Letters, 1943--1983], ed. Pamusuk Eneste (Gramedia: Jakarta, 1984), pp. 102-14. My comments are based on the version in Jassin, Surat-surat. For a discussion of Jassin and his role in the development of modern Indonesian literature, see Teeuw, Modern Indonesian Literature, I, pp. 120-22. Teeuw calls Jassin a major "stimulator,

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Jassin begins by alluding to the writings of the "Generation 45," authors whose work Jassin had selected and anthologized in 1948 to represent the innovations in literary style and form that had occurred during the Japanese Occupation and the war for independence from the Dutch. Jassin's canonization of certain authors and exclusion of others rankled many in the Indonesian literary world over the years, but it was his take on the kclesuan-exhaustion, lack of creative inspiration-of contemporary writers in the Indonesia of the early 1950s, a topic that generated an extensive debate among Indonesia's writers and artists at the time/ 2 that got him into the most trouble with some of his contemporaries. Jassin wrote, and I paraphrase: There is no denying that social conditions are highly disturbed at the moment, but peace of mind does not produce great works of art, rather the opposite is true. A society enjoying tranquility may well "paralyze" (melumpuhkan) an artist's powers of creativity. It all comes down to what is going on inside the creative person him- and herself. A writer like Pramoedya Ananta Toer, for example, can write great works while he is in prison/3 yet fail do so again once he has returned to live in normal society. This is not society's fault. The writer has a duty to protect the "purity" (kejernihan) of his thought and feeling from being "clouded" (buram) by his social environment if he wants to produce great art. Can such art be found in Indonesia? Even the work of the great revolutionary poet Chairil Anwar "reveals the shortcomings of a young spirit living at a time of Sturm und Drang." 34 In his analysis, Jassin finds flaws in the poetry of Asrul Sani, Rivai Apin, and in the work of a number of other well-known contemporary writers, for reasons that have to do with their own shortcomings, not with the social conditions in which they lived. What Jassin finds most lacking in the writers he surveys is their ability draw on the full breadth of human experience and knowledge in order to develop new possibilities of expression in the Indonesian language. Indonesian writers don't have to look to Europe to know how to do this, he argues. Taking up the "essay" as a literary form, Jassin says that, for him, an essay "is a work that discusses the problems of human beings and life, enlivened by the subjectivity of the author." 35 Whether an essay should take the form of a poem, as in the work of Asrul Sani, or of a novel, as in the manner of the French writer Camus, should not be a fraught issue in contemporary Indonesia. Returning to the theme of the relationship between artistic creativity and the social conditions in which artists live, and making custodian, and whetstone in the formation of ideas and development of Indonesian literature" (p. 120), but also alludes to his widespread unpopularity among Indonesia's major writers. His extensive personal library and documentation of modern Indonesian literature is now the Pusat Dokumentasi Sastra H. B. Jassin (The H.B. Jassin Documentation Center), located on the grounds of Jakarta's downtown performing arts complex, Taman Ismail Marzuki. 32 See Teeuw, Modern Indonesian Literature, I, pp. 139-42. 33 Captured by the Dutch police in occupied Jakarta in 1947, Pramoedya was imprisoned until 1949, during which time he read John Steinbeck, William Saroyan, and (the Flemish writer) Lode Zielens and wrote many of his most famous short stories, as well as two novels. See Teeuw, Modern Indonesian Literature, I, p. 165, and A. Teeuw, Pramoedya Ananta Toer: De Verbeelding van Indonesie [Pramoedya Ananta Toer: The Representation of Indonesia] (Breda: De Geus, 1993), pp. 22-24. Jassin, Surat-surat, p. 104. Chairil was commonly thought to epitomize the revolutionary qualities associated with the "Generation 45." 35 Ibid., p. 109.

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reference, by using the word lesu (exhaustion), to the issue of postrevolutionary loss of inspiration and direction, Jassin asserts: "We don't have to accept the weary claim [pengakuan yang lesu]: 'I can't write because my room is too small,' or 'I don't have time to paint because I have too many other jobs."' 36 The only thing that matters is the final artwork that has been produced. In any case, as far as literature is concerned, all one needs to get started is a pen and a piece of paper. In conclusion, he writes, when all is said and done concerning labels like "Generation 45," a term that nobody wants to wear, which only grow old and are then discarded, only to be replaced by new labels, it's 1953, a new year: time to begin life anew! In his essay, Jassin ignores the issue of historical or social causation and emphasizes the fact that Indonesian artists must take responsibility for the process and products of their own creativity. Without analyzing the current "crisis" in Indonesia as such, Jassin insists that writers simply get on with their job, which is to create great art! As he made clear elsewhere, Jassin disagreed with those who wanted to inject "isme-isme," ideological "isms," into critical debate over the nature and function of Indonesian art. 37 Questions as to whether "art for art's sake" versus "art for the people," "individualism," or "Marxism," among other "isms," were useful criteria for evaluating or labeling literature could not be answered in a generalized, a priori way. Apakah revolusi 45 revolusi komunisme? Lebih chusus lagi: Apakah kesusasteraan 45 kesusasteraan komunisme? Saja tidak menolak anasir-anasir komunisme dalam sastera, seperti djuga saja tidak keberatan terhadap anasiranasir isme jang lain, jang bagi saja toh tidak soallagi apabila hasil *ptaan siap sempurna. Itulah sebabnja maka saja katakan bahwa seni 45 ialah seni universil, dasar-dasarnja tempat mentjipta boleh berlain-lain, tapi dalam keseluruhannja sebagai hasil tjiptaan, ia harus mentjapai ke-universilan? 8 Is the revolution of '45 a communist revolution? More particularly: Is the literature of '45 communist? I don't reject communist elements in literature, just as I don't have a problem with elements of any other "ism," as long as the creative result is at the point of perfection. This is the reason why I say that the art of '45 is universal art, because however diverse the sources of inspiration, taken as whole the final artistic product [of the "Generation 45" school] is meant to achieve universality. Ibid. See the letter he wrote to his friend, the poet and essayist Aoh K. Hadimadja, on November 22, 1951, in Jassin, Surat-surat, pp. 77-84, also published as "Kesusasteraan dan Politik" [Literature and Politics] in Jassin, Kesusasteraan Indonesia Modern, I, pp. 62-67. At the end of this letter, Jassin tells a story about a journalist friend of his who received a foundation grant to travel to America, where he was astonished by American organization and the independent thinking of American students. "Don't forget, his friend told Jassin: 'America is destined to be the leader of the world"' (English in the original). Jassin commented: "Poor us! Everywhere we go we immediately Jose our identity [kehilangan pribadi]." Jassin was being ironic, scornful of those who allowed their commitment to building an independent, modern Indonesian culture to waver in the face of foreign influences. 38 Jassin, Kcsusasteraan Indonesia Modern, I, p. 65.

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Jassin first identified the concept, "humanism," as a characteristic of Generation 45 writers in the introduction to his 1948 anthology of poetry and prose, Gema Tanah Air (Echo of the Homeland). Humanism was an expression, he later wrote, of a desire felt by writers like Asrul Sani, Chairil Anwar, Rivai Apin, and others to "open wide the mind to all of the most progressive ideas in the world, ideas that refuse to be walled in by narrow-mindedness and that advance brotherhood with all of humanity." 39 This is the humanism of the "Gelanggang Testament," Jassin pointed out, but he also made explicit an important caveat that is only implied in the opening sentence of the "Testament": "Human beings make 'isms,' 'isms' do not make human beings." 40 Even human-"ism," a concept meant to promote universally shared human values, can be used as an ideological weapon, as, indeed, was the case, Jassin made clear, in the late 1940s when the Dutch appealed to the concept of humanism in order to manipulate members of the Gelanggang group in their effort to retain cultural control in postwar Indonesia. 41 In his critical writings from the 1950s, Jassin contributed to the "great debate" by addressing questions about individual responsibility, cosmopolitanism, and artistic quality. His criteria for assessing the value of works of art seem eclectic and nonideological in Cold War terms, one critic's expression of the many kinds of individuality and freedom that Indonesians claimed when they achieved independence from the Netherlands in 1950. While Jassin shared Casanova's belief in the importance of artistic autonomy, his definition of autonomy required the Indonesian writer to make a commitment to Indonesia, as the necessary place from which, in terms of Indonesian experience and by means of the Indonesian language, an Indonesian writer should make "universal" sense of the widest possible world of mankind. As a committed Indonesian nationalist with a cosmopolitan outlook, Jassin was well aware of the possibilities that critical concepts taken from the West would come to dominate postcolonial Indonesian discourse and art. He felt strongly, however, that Indonesians could decide for themselves how each "ism" should be defined and put to use. 42 The fact that the first international conference on Indonesian literature was held in Amsterdam on June 26, 1953, may be interpreted as an expression of the centerperiphery world literary structure later outlined by Casanova. Although he was already widely recognized as Indonesian's greatest writer, the young Pramoedya Ananta Toer (1925-2006) was not one of the featured speakers (by his own choice, perhaps 43 ), but he was in the audience, since he and his family were spending several months in the Netherlands under the auspices of Sticusa. The morning proceedings of the conference were opened by the young Dutch professor of linguistics and authority on Old Javanese and Indonesian literatures, A. Teeuw, and it was not until 39 40 41

See "Humanisme Universil," in ibid., p. 68. Ibid., p. 70. Ibid., p. 68.

Thus, the Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe's statement that "I should like to see the word 'universal' banned altogether from discussions of African literature until such time as people cease to use it as a synonym for the narrow, self-serving parochialism of Europe" (quoted in Casanova, The World Republic, p. 156) would have made little sense to Jassin, who thought that Indonesian writers should take the initiative in seizing the "universal" for themselves. 43 Foulcher, "On a Roll," p. 8, footnote 12 cites Pramoedya's recollection in his memoirs that he remained silent throughout the seminar. 42

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the afternoon that the two important Indonesian participants and invited speakers at the conference, Takdir Alisjahbana and Asrul Sani (1926-2004), had a chance to speak. Takdir, the more senior, was a strong supporter of the Cultural Accord with the Netherlands and an advocate for the Westernization of Indonesia on the Dutch model. In his remarks, Takdir traced his familiar themes-the coming of Western modernity to Indonesia via Dutch colonialism, and the social disruptions caused by the process of modernization and the resultant rise of individualism. Asrul Sani spoke next. Dutch-educated, a poet, short-story writer, essayist, and editor of several important literary journals, Asrul had been already living in Amsterdam for several years with his wife, Siti Nuraini, a noted poet and translator of Dutch, German, and French literature. Since 1948, Asrul had been publishing sophisticated critical essays on Western literature, film, and cultural affairs.H In one piece for the journal Siasat in October 1950, he compared the Spanish poet Garcia Lorca to Indonesia's lyric genius Chairil Anwar. 45 In another essay, Asrul bemoaned the fact that he could not buy copies of Horizon, Partisan Review, or Les Temps Modernes in the bookstores of Jakarta, while the latest editions of American movie magazines with their "pictures of half-naked, pretty girls" were everywhere to be found. 46 Asrul was comfortable discussing Italian realism or the postwar Gruppc (Group) 47, 47 an association of contemporary German writers whom he traveled to meet at one of their periodic gatherings in Munich. Asrul compared the Group 47 and the meeting in which he participated to the literary discussions of Generation 45 writers that Takdir had been holding recently in his house at Tugu, in the mountains south of Jakarta. Asrul was impressed by the greater professionalism of the German writers, for whom social questions were only relevant to the extant that they were also literary ones. Asrul also learned that, like their Indonesian counterparts, the members of Group 47 were worried about sinking into provincialism and losing contact with the wider world. Asrul quoted the author Hans Werner Richter as saying: We are going to promote new literature and will value it according to its just desserts, and we are going to behave as if Paris and Rome, New York and Munich occupy the same location, without boundaries of language or politics. For us, the literary life of Paris has the same importance as the literary life of Munich or Hamburg. Only in this way can we avoid feeling that we are leading a provincial kind of life. 48 Goenawan Mohamad gives a penetrating analysis of Asrul's poetry and postcolonial thinking in "Forgetting: Poetry and the Nation, a Motif in Indonesian Literary Modernism after 1945," in Clearing a Space: Postcolonial Readings of Modern Indonesian Literature, ed. Keith Foulcher and Tony Day (Leiden: KITLV Press, 2002), pp. 183-211. For more discussion of Asrul's critical essays, see Teeuw, Modern Indonesian Literature, I, pp. 129-32. 45 See " ... Una Conversa[c]i6n con Ia Muerte" [A Conversation with Death], in Sani, Suratsurat, pp. 34-38. ' 6 "Soal Bacaan" [The Question of Reading Matter], in Sani, Surat-surat, p. 47. 47 "Angkatan '47 di Jerman" [Generation '47 in Germany], in Sani, Surat-surat, pp. 86-99. Gordon Craig describes Group 47 as "a loose association of writers who believed that social activism was a legitimate part of their calling and were generally critical of the values of their time." See Gordon A. Craig, "1958: Politics and Literature," in A New History of German Literature, ed. David E. Wellbery and Judith Ryan (Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard University Press, 2004), p. 872. ' 8 Ibid., p. 97.

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Asrul began his Sticusa talk49 by quoting from an essay by a Jakarta intellectual named "Ida Anwar" who mocked the provincialism of the so-called "modern" Jakartan housewife. 5° In my paraphrase of the talk: This was amusing indeed, Asrul agreed, but it would be truer to say that the modern city person in Indonesia has a split identity, an inner and an outer self, partly traditional and partly Westernized. The Indonesian revolution was largely an urban occurrence, and although characterized by a certain degree of homogeneity, it lacked clear guidelines and left a feeling of impotence and confusion in its wake. The Indonesian countryside had always had its own culture, a different way of doing things from the city. Asrul gave an idyllic sketch of growing up in a village, a time for him that was characterized by social solidarity reinforced by ritual festivities. Most of Indonesia's artists come from villages, he explained. When they arrive in the city, their village culture collides with the culture that has been imported from the West. They quickly forget their origins and come under the strong influence of foreign thinkers and writers. "Their connection to the people is lost." 51 They become swept up in the politics of the moment. Literary criticism is now dominated by political, rather than literary, forms of interpretation. "Terms like revolution and social responsibility appear frequently." 52 There is confusion between the political and the cultural aspects of the revolution, so that some artists imagine that the revolution is synonymous with their own artistic ideals. Revolutionary poets once spoke of freedom; poetic form was not important. "The word had to have the punch of a fist." 53 But as the revolution faded, so did the rationale and the vibrancy of this kind of poetry. In the place of the revolutionary poet came "organizations and a large bureaucratic hierarchy" that regulated everyone, enabling artists to say: "We have been made legal!" Professional politicians were now corrupting their revolutionary and nationalistic ideals, he declared. "The artists had said: 'We are the legal heirs to world culture!' But their surroundings push them away and try to replace the idea of world culture with that of provincial culture." 54 Literature had become critical of political corruption, he said. The short-story form, far better than the novel, lends itself to a rapid and flexible response to such issues in the midst of a chaotic situation. This was what was happening in the cities, he explained. But, he said, it is time for Indonesian artists to reconsider the value of the city as well as the value of contact with the West. It is time for the urban artist to return to the countryside and rediscover his inner identity. Whatever else is true to say, the current emphasis on the individual in Indonesian literature has not enriched it. In Western literature, there is a constant search for new Asrul gave his talk, titled "Indonesian Literature as the Mirror of Society," in Dutch. The text can be found in Cultureel Nieuws Indonesie 1953, 30: 817-24. 50 It would seem that "lda Anwar" was none other than Asrul Sani himself, given the fact that Ida Anwar's "Letter from Jakarta," which Asrul refers to here, together with three others that appeared in Zenith in 1951, were all published under the same pseudonym (these last three letters are reprinted in Sani, Surat-surat, pp. 497-519). The "Ida" of the pen name comes from "Ida Nasution"-an intellectual, member of the inner core of the Gelanggang group, and sometime girlfriend of Chairil Anwar, who mysteriously disappeared in 1948-added to "Anwar," name of Indonesia's famous revolutionary poet. 51 Asrul, "Indonesian Literature as the Mirror of Society," p. 820. 52 Ibid. 53 Ibid., p. 821. 54 Ibid.

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kinds of individual conflict and emotion, but in Indonesia it would be better, he said, if "we" continue to look for ways of describing the most ordinary daily emotions and conflicts. Indonesian literature has taken its literary form from the West; it must reject this form to be free. "Then a new relationship between Indonesian and Western culture will come into existence. Then we will be able to talk to one another again. And believe me, honored guests, the conversation will get better, better than we have ever experienced." 55 Pramoedya Ananta Toer heard Asrul's speech and reacted critically to it in an article he published in July 1953, accusing Asrul of being a "salon intellectual" and a spokesperson for, in the words of Keith Foulcher's summary of Pramoedya's argument, an "uprooted intelligentsia who have little to contribute to the condition they are identifying." 56 Asrul would have agreed that the uprootedness of Indonesia's writers was .their key problem. In Pramoedya's view, however, there was no conflict between East and West, as Asrul, Takdir, and Jassin all asserted. Pessimism and other expressions of postrevolutionary letdown in Indonesian culture and literature at the moment were not cultural diseases or Western imports, but simply byproducts of an ongoing creative process, which it would be pointless to criticize. In a strongly worded essay published before his departure for the Netherlands, Pramoedya also criticized the concept of artistic purity and detachment that Jassin had foregrounded in his "Farewell to '52'" essay. 57 As Foulcher demonstrates, in these and other essays from the early 1950s, Pramoedya began making the case for a more socially engaged kind of Indonesian literature than could be found in the writings of the Generation 45. In 1963, he articulated a new canon for modern Indonesian literature based on socialist realism, one that made a radical departure from the canon Jassin had compiled from the "universal humanist" works of the Generation 45 authors such as Asrul Sani (and the youthful Pramoedya himself). 58 Yet Jassin's essay and Asrul's speech, for all their elitist focus on the humanistic Sturm und Orang of the individual Indonesian "artist" and his "art," argued for a kind of Indonesia-based cosmopolitanism that resembled Pramoedya's own. Like Pramoedya, Jassin and Asrul both advocated that Indonesian writers commit themselves to a national "process" of identity-formation, one that involved both engagement with the international world and rediscovery of the everyday realities of Indonesia itself. 59 Ibid., p. 824. Foulcher, "On a Roll," p. 8. 57 Ibid., pp. 11-12. 58 Heinschke, "Between Gelanggang and Lekra," pp. 167-68. 59 Heinschke, "Between Gelanggang and Lekra," pp. 151-52 draws a stark contrast between the modernism and "world literature" orientation of the Gelanggang "core group" and the position of writers, including Pramoedya, on the "fringe" who stressed commitment to Indonesian social realities and freedom from outside influences. But as Foulcher argues convincingly in "On a Roll," pp. 13-14, during the early 1950s Pramoedya fully shared the modernist premise of a writer like Asrul that engaging with and learning from Western culture was a good thing. Foulcher writes: "It remains clear even amid the invective, however, that if the lines of a cultural politics between 'left' and 'right' are taking shape in the exchanges between Pramoedya and those he perceives as opponents, there is no sense in which the 'left' viewpoint is associating the 'right' with a negative 'West.' The association of the Left with anti-imperialism and anti-Westernism has become so pervasive since the era of the Cold War that it is important not to lose sight of the fact that in the Indonesian literary and cultural

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The "great debate" about how to define a modern culture, and, by extension, the modern individual, began in Southeast Asia in the 1930s, before the end of colonial rule and the advent of the Cold War. In Indonesia the choice was posed: turn to the West, a boundless source of new ideas and energies, or rediscover, within indigenous traditions, the unique freedoms and modern potential offered by Indonesia's own rich cultural heritage. The debate was resumed in 1950, but the argument no longer turned on a stark choice between polar opposites. Liberal artists in the Gelanggang group proclaimed their allegiance to both positions. The "Gelanggang Testament" attempted to articulate an artistic creed that supported all of the following: individualism; national independence and identity; cosmopolitanism; modernism; and cultural and political pluralism. The manifesto that leftist writers who formed Lekra published toward the end of the same year expressed a similar commitment to modernity ("Art, science and industry are the bases of culture"), but a narrower range of acceptable politics; more anxiety about the need for continuing struggling against "colonial culture"; and a more militant commitment to the "culture of the masses." In the words of the Lekra manifesto: "The function of the People's Culture at the present time is to be a weapon in the struggle to destroy imperialism and feudalism. It must be a stimulator of the Masses, a source of constant inspiration and an ever-burning revolutionary fire."" 0 Notwithstanding the political militancy of the Lekra declaration, a militancy that grew in intensity over time, Lekra writers and intellectuals shared many of the same cosmopolitan and aesthetic leanings of their Gelanggang interlocutors. 61 Although critical of certain aspects of the content of work by the famous Generation 45 writers Chairil Anwar and Idrus, Lekra intellectuals joined Gelanggang authors in admiring the revolutionary literary forms pioneered by these two heroes of Generation 45. As Foulcher demonstrates, "LEKRA engaged with, rather than negated the bourgeois nationalist tradition, adopting some of its products and some of the tendencies within it, even as it condemned others." 62 The Lekra fascination with "states of mind" allowed some room for individual voices and emotions to be expressed. Even after 1959, when Lekra committed itself to supporting the state and Sukarno's authoritarian policies under Guided Democracy (1957-65), Lekra literary practice debates of the 1950s and 60s, there was a shared commitment to modernity along Western European lines that overrode the sharpening lines of political engagement and conflict of the period" ("On a Roll," p. 14). Goenawan Mohamad links Pramoedya to Asrul Sani in another way, connecting Asrul's "all-pervading sense of indeterminacy" to Pramoedya's characterization of Nyai Ontosoroh, the hero of This Earth of Mankind, who lives "on the borders" between several worlds ("Forgetting," pp. 207-8). Jassin's self-confident, Indonesiabased "universal humanism" and insistence that critical attention should focus on the final artwork, not the daily trials and tribulations of the artist, can also be read, it seems to me, as variant strategies for addressing this same indeterminacy of an emerging modern Indonesian culture. 60 Quoted in Foulcher, Social Commitment, p. 216. 61 "Across the whole range of LEKRA thought and activity, there is a restless urge, not unlike that characteristic of Takdir Alisjahbana, to understand the world and its culture, to make known the products of world culture, that progressive-minded Indonesians might be better equipped to judge, select, and build towards the future" (ibid., p. 40). Within the top leadership of the Indonesian Communist Party itself, the person who exemplified this urge the best was Njoto, founder of Lekra and editor of the leading communist paper, Harian Rakjat. For a fascinating reevaluation of Njoto in English, see the special report on Njoto in the English-language edition of Tempo, October 6-12, 2009:35-67. 62 Ibid., p. 25.

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and criticism adhered "as a whole" to the same aesthetic concerns that engaged the Generation 45 and Gelanggang writers, whom it attacked with increasing vehemence. In Foulcher's view, the most creative Lekra poetry imitated the innovations of liberal writers like W. S. Rendra, who began developing a distinctively Indonesian ballad style of narrative poetry based on regional literary and performance traditions in the mid-1950s. 63 Pramoedya Ananta Toer was widely acknowledged at home and abroad as Indonesia's most important author, notwithstanding his growing pro-Sukarno militancy and ideological orthodoxy aligned with Lekra's thinking in the 1960s. Pramoedya experimented with a variety of literary styles based on Soviet/ Chinese realism, early twentieth-century Malaylanguage reportage, and contemporary Indonesian regional literature in his own work of that period. 64 In practice, Pramoedya was no more or less concerned than some of the writers he denounced with defining an identity for the Indonesian writer and a uniquely Indonesian style of writing about the reality of human beings in their daily struggles for freedom. Whatever his own strictures against freedoms that were not "regulated" or literature that was not firmly grounded in social, as opposed to subjective, reality may have been, the fact is that Pramoedya's own writing, as art, took shape within an autonomous, Indonesian literary space, one that he, along with many other writers and critics, helped to define. This space was also a cosmopolitan one, expanded and shaped in a major way through translation. THE QUESTION OF TRANSLATION

During the 1950s, Indonesian journals and newspapers were full of translations of short stories and poetry by foreign authors; novels and plays by an eclectic range of writers, modern and ancient, famous and less well known, also appeared in book form. 65 Translations of Western critical theory also made their way into print, especially in leftist newspapers and journals where "socialist realism" was much discussed. 66 In 1950, Pramoedya published translations of Steinbeck and Tolstoy. He "3 64

Ibid., p. 139. See also Goenawan, "Forgetting," p. 204. Foulcher, Social Commitment, pp. 120-23; Heinschke, "Between Gelanggang and Lekra," p.

168.

For an informative overview of the translation of foreign literature into Indonesian during this period, with a focus on the work of Trisno Sumardjo, who translated many of Shakespeare's plays, and Koesalah Soebagyo Toer, Pramoedya's younger brother, who specialized in works by Russian, Romanian, and Czech writers, sec Maya Sutedja-Licm, "Menjembatani Indonesia dan Dunia Luar: Penerjemah di Indonesia 1950-1965" [A Bridge to the Outside World: Literary Translation in Indonesia, 1950-1965], to appear in a collection of essays edited by Maya Liem and Jennifer Lindsay. 66 Foulchcr, Social Commitment, pp. 37-39. In May 1954, Pramoedya published a translation of an article on the importance of the Soviet example for the development of socialist realism in China by a leading and rigidly doctrinaire Party literary theorist, Zhou Yang. See Tjau Jang [Zhou Yang], "Realisme Sosialis-Djalan Kemadjuan bagi Kesusastraan Tionghua," Harian Rakjat, May 8, 1954, cited in Foulcher, Social Commitment, p. 38, n. 74. An English version of this essay, which Pramoedya may have used for his translation, can be found in Chou Yang [Zhou Yang], China's New Literature and Art: Essays and Addresses (Peking: Foreign Language Press, 1954), pp. 87-102. Later that same year, Zhou, described by C. T. Hsia as "a ruthlessly ambitious man, constantly exhorting writers to follow the Mao Tse-tung line in literature and periodically initiating attacks on unorthodox writings and writers," led the assault on the "subjective idealist" critic Hu Feng, about whom more below. See C. T. Hsia, A History of "5

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later commented that translating Of Mice and Men taught him about "[n]ot interfering in his protagonists' affairs, and depicting the stirrings of their hearts only by the evidence of the senses: sight and sound." 67 The style Pramoedya is alluding to here is that of documentary reportage, of which Steinbeck was a master. 68 During the years 1955-56, Pramoedya again published a number of translations, the most important of which was Ibunda, a translation of Gorky's Mother (1907), a work that Katerina Clark, drawing on Pushkin's definition of translators as "post-horses of civilization," describes as "that post, or station, where Bolsheviks coming out of the old intelligentsia tradition were able to stop and take on fresh horses to bear them on into Socialist Realism itsel£." 69 Since there is a lot to say about Ibunda and what it tells us about the translation of Russian socialist realism into modern Indonesian literature, I want to save a discussion of the novel for another essay. Three short translations of nonfictional works by Pramoedya will suffice here to suggest how translation served to connect him to the leftist "international" of world literature during the Cold War. 70 In late 1955 and the first half of 1956, Pramoedya published three translations in the Indonesian journal Indonesia, a major forum for critical thinking about Indonesian society and the arts that was edited at this time by Armijn Pane (a famous pre-war intellectual and writer), the legal authority Mr. St. Mohamad Sjah, and Boejoeng Saleh, a poet, prolific writer on cultural and sociological topics, and leftist polemicist. In the first of these translations, "Kesusasteraan dan Publik," 71 Pramoedya presents his readers with a discussion of the development of realism in late nineteenthModern Chinese Fiction, 3rd ed. (Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press, 1999), p. 331 and passim. 67 Pramoedya Ananta Toer, "Perburuan 1950 and Kc/uarga Gerilya 1950," trans. Benedict Anderson, Indonesia 36 (October 1983): 37. 68 Steinbeck worked as reporter for the San Francisco News and The Nation, writing about and living alongside California migrant farm workers in 1936, during which time he wrote Of Mice and Men (1937). See Morris Dickstein, "Steinbeck and the Great Depression," The South Atlantic Quarterly 103, 1 (Winter 2004): 116. Two years later Steinbeck published Grapes of Wrath, about a family of sharecroppers during the Great Depression. According to William Stott, "No doubt the thirties' novel most clearly related to the documentary is John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath ... Steinbeck actually started out to write not a novel but a 'documentary book,' text with pictures." William Stott, Documentary Expression and Thirties America (Chicago, IL and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1986), pp. 121-22. 69 Katerina Clark, The Soviet Novel: History as Ritual, 3rd ed. (Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press, 2000), p. 52. 70 There is no space here to examine the full significance of even these translations for understanding Pramoedya's thinking during a major period of change in his career as a writer and critical thinker. The best studies of Pramoedya's intellectual development during the mid1950s are Heinschke, "Between Gelanggang and Lekra," and Hong Liu, "Pramoedya Ananta Toer and China: The Transformation of a Cultural Intellectual," Indonesia 61 (Aprill996): 11943. 71 L. L. Schiicking, "Kesusasteraan dan Publik," Indonesia VI, no. 10-12 (Oktober-N ovemberDesember 1955): 384-92. The translation is of Chapter 4, "Literature and Public," from E. W. Dickes's English translation, published in 1944 as The Sociology of Literary Taste (London: Keg an Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co., Ltd.) in the "International Library of Sociology and Social Reconstruction" series edited by Karl Mannheim, of Schiicking's Die Soziologie der literarischen Geschmacksbildung, first published in 1923. The Indonesian journal Indonesia was published between 1949 and 1965. The first issue of Cornell University's journal Indonesia was published in 1966.

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century Germany from a sociological study of literary taste written by a German professor of English literature, L. L. Schiicking. A passage from the opening paragraphs of Schiicking's chapter strongly suggests that there is a close historical parallel between the cultural world Schucking describes and the situation in midtwentieth-century Indonesia, with its literary world dominated by middle-class urban intellectuals in an atmosphere of deepening political and economic crisis, a situation ripe for even a belated advent of revolutionary "realism:" In Germany naturalism (or realism) came remarkably late. In France, its most eminent representative, Emile Zola, had written his famous novels in the 'seventies ... In Germany at that time the main buttress of art was a cultured middle class [parapendukung seni adalah kelas pertengahan jang berbudaja], largely made up of higher officials, which, mainly in consequence of the political stagnation that followed the victorious wars, restricted itself in every field to the careful guarding of traditions . . . The sense of hollowness of the religious conceptions that continued to dominate the school and the life of the State ... the increasing hardness of the conditions of existence, due to growth of competition, as reflected in the growing importance of the women's question; the increase in the elements of conflict in social and political life ... the trivializing influence of the great cities [pengaruh sehari-hari daripada kota-kota besar]-all these things combined to lead certain social groups into a passionate struggle [perdjuangan jang bersemangat] in various fields of everyday life against what they felt to be empty phrases. Naturalism is the striving after truth at any price [Naturalisme adalah pendjedjakan kebenaran demi segala-galanja] ... The path of art is no Sunday stroll [pelantjongan dihari minggu] through pretty country with a young flock, but an everyday pilgrimage [perdjalanan djemaah jang di/akukan tiap hari] that does not shirk the investigation of any site [penjelidikan atas tiap daerah]. 72 The suggestion in the last line above, that realist writers need to investigate "any" and every "site" of the everyday world, is one that Pramoedya returned to in the first of two translations that appeared in the March 1956 issue of Indonesia. On September 25, 1953, the Chinese author Ding Ling 73 gave a speech to the Second The English translation is from Schi.icking, Literary Taste (1944), pp. 26-27; the Indonesian versions of selected passages are taken from Pramoedya's translation, "Kesusasteraan," pp. 384-85. A few lines below the passage 1 have just quoted, Schi.icking identifies those who led the early realist movement in Germany as "only small groups of journalists in the great cities that took up the cudgels for the new trend in art" (p. 27), a striking anticipation of, if not a direct stimulus to, Pramoedya's own investigations, lectures, and publications in 1962-63 on the history of an indigenous socialist realism that developed in early twentieth-century Netherlands Indies Malay literature. This realist style of fictionalized reportage drawn from newspaper stories was developed by multilingual, urban journalist-writers like Tirto Adhi Soerjo, the historical prototype for the main protagonist of Pramoedya's Buru Tetralogy, Minke. 73 Ding Ling (1904-86) was a prominent writer and feminist. In 1951, she won the Stalin Prize for her novel The Sun Shines over the Sangkan River, a fact proudly noted by Zhou Yang in the essay translated by Pramoedya (China's New Literature, p. 93). But Zhou and Ding Ling, who was a strong supporter of Hu Feng and his defense of the writer's independence from the state, were bitter enemies. In 1957, Zhou and others accused Ding Ling of being "a thorough individualist, totally disloyal to the Party," and she was exiled to Manchuria. Ding Ling was rehabilitated in 1978 and returned to Beijing. For the best general introduction to Ding Ling's writing and ideas, see Tani E. Barlow and Gary J. Bjorge, eds., I Myself Am a Woman: Selected 72

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Congress of Representatives of China's Literature Workers titled "Settling Down among the Masses," which was later translated into English and published in 1954 as "Life and Creative Writing" in Chinese Literature, a journal edited by the eminent novelist and PRC Minister of Culture from 1949 to 1965, Mao Dun; the journal featured essays and literary works from contemporary China published by the Foreign Languages Press in Beijing. 74 It is here that Pramoedya evidently found an essay by a leftist writer from the global "international" that helped articulate his own concerns about the need for Indonesian writers to engage with the everyday life of ordinary people. Along with many other Indonesian cultural commentators, Pramoedya had already written about the need for urban artists to reorient themselves to the countryside where the mass of the Indonesian people lived. In January 1956, Pramoedya published an essay praising the "popular tendency" in a new generation of writers, even though they were still just cultural "tourists having an adventure in a new place" (merupakan turis yang mengembarai daerah baru) rather than serious investigators of real life. 75 Pramoedya's principal targets in this piece were the Writings of Ding Ling (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1989). For a good general discussion of the Anti-Rightest Campaign of 1957-58, during which Ding Ling was attacked and sent into exile, see Merle Goldman, Literary Dissent in Communist China (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1967), pp. 203-42. 74 Hong Liu, "Pramoedya," p. 125, note 24, identifies the text and provenance of the original speech but not the title and location of the English translation used by Pramoedya. See Ting Ling [Ding Ling], "Life and Creative Writing," Chinese Literature 3 (1954): 152-58. Pramoedya's translation appeared as Ting Ling, "Hidup dan Penulisan Kreatif," Indonesia VII, 3 (Maret 1956): 102-10. A list printed on the inside cover of the first issue of Chinese Literature for 1957, naming thirty countries around the world where the journal could be purchased locally, includes two from Southeast Asia: Indonesia and Burma. The outlet for Indonesia was Firma "Rada," Pintu Besar Selatan 3A, Djakarta-Kota. Single copies cost Rp. 6, while a year's subscription for four issues was· Rp. 24. The costs of subscriptions to Indonesian literary magazines at that time were roughly comparable. A single copy of the literary journal Kisah (Story) in 1956, for example, cost Rp. 3 in Jakarta, while a year's subscription for twelve issues was Rp. 36, Rp. 42 if one lived outside Java. 75 Pramoedya Ananta Toer, "Tendensi kerakyatan dalam kesusastraan Indonesia terbaru" [The Popular Tendency in the Latest Indonesian Literature], Star Weekly no. 525, January 21, 1956, reprinted in Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Menggelinding I [On a Roll I] (Jakarta: Lentera Dipantara, 2004), p. 456. One of the writers praised by Pramoedya, the Jakarta short-story writer S. M. Ardan, who used Jakarta dialect in his stories about ordinary people, published a response to Pramoedya in April 1956, in which he rejected the injunction to "return to the village," citing Italian neo-realist films such as Vittorio de Sica's "The Bicycle Thief" (1948) as examples of powerful and important realist representations of the urban poor. SeeS. M. Ardan, "Kota dan desa dan penamaan-penamaan" [City and Country and Labels], Siasat 460 (April 4, 1956): 2425, 28. Ardan ignored Pramoedya's telling observation, which strengthened his argument, that in Indonesia, unlike Europe, cities were really just "large conglomerations of villages" (kelompokan besar desa); see Pramoedya, "Tendensi," p. 459. Savitri Scherer has a good discussion comparing Ardan and Pramoedya's differing depictions of the Jakarta poor in her essay, "From Culture to Politics: The Development of Class Consciousness in Pramoedya Ananta Toer's Writings," in Society and the Writer: Essays 011 Literature in Modern Asia, ed. Wang Gungwu, M. Guerrero, and D. Marr, (Canberra: Research School of Pacific Studies, The Australian National University, 1981), pp. 244-46. For a powerful short story, in a vivid English translation by Julie Shackfird-Bradley and Brandon Spars, that examines the continuum between rural and urban poverty in 1950s Indonesia, see "Ketjapi," in Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Tales from Djakarta: Caricatures of Circumstances and their Human Beings (Ithaca, NY: Cornell Southeast Asia Program Publications, 1999), pp. 137-42. "Ketjapi" was first published in the February 1956 issue of the journal Kisah.

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middle-class, Europeanized literary idealists like Asrul Sani, who had called for a "return to the village" in his 1953 Amsterdam address without ever enacting such a return himself. Ding Ling opens her lecture by criticizing the very same sort of writers, those who "sit back in their arm chairs and indulge in idle talk, in the attempt to fill the emptiness of their life" (duduk kembali dikursinja dan membiarkan diri dalam pergumulan soal-soal jang sia-sia, dalam usahnja untuk mengisi kekosongan hidupnja itu)?6 What writers need to do, says Ding Ling, is "experience life," which Pramoedya translates as merasumi hidup, "penetrate" or "soak in" life, using a word for "experience" that connotes spirit possession or memorable food. "If we really wish to create new characters and produce good books, we must settle down among the masses [mulai tunm tangan ditengah-tengah rakjat] and establish close and friendly relations with the people around us." 77 In China, at least, "the writer is provided with excellent conditions and a broad path to literary creation. Wherever he goes, he is welcome ... The masses around him, anxiously hoping that he will write a good book about them and for them, expect him to stay long with them and tell him everything he wants to know ... " 78 Ding Ling's essay forcefully expresses the same kind of artistic commitment to understand and serve the needs of ordinary people that Pramoedya could have found expressed by many other contributors to Chinese Literature. In contrast to the convoluted analysis of "The Life and Work of the Modern Indonesian Writer," a lecture Pramoedya delivered to the Faculty of Literature of the University of Indonesia in December 1954, in which, despite the similarity of the title to Ding Ling's "Life and Creative Writing," there is no trace of a Chinese model/9 his essay "Literature as a Tool," published in March of 1953 in one of the several journals edited by H. B. Jassin/ 0 has the stylistic clarity and polemical punch of the essay he translated by Ding Ling, or of others by Mao Tun [Mao Dun], Kuo Mo-Jo [Guo Moruo], and Chou Yang [Zhou Yang] that appeared in the first two issues of Chinese Literature in 1953. 81 Ding Ling, "Life," p. 153; TingLing, "Hidup," p. 103. Pramoedya's translation of "indulge in idle talk" adds a vulgar connotation that gives the phrase extra sting. 77 Ding Ling, "Life," p. 155; TingLing, "Hidup," p. 106. ?K Ding Ling, "Life," p. 157. 79 Pramoedya Ananta Toer, "Hidup dan Kerdja Sasterawan Indonesia Modern," Seni I (Djanuari 1955): 22-36. Jassin was editor-in-chief of Seni (Art). 80 "Kesusasteraan Sebagai Alat," Mimbar Indonesia, March 17, 1953, reprinted in Pramoedya, Mcnggelinding, pp. 222-31. Pramoedya engages with Soviet and Chinese ideas about the social function of literature in this essay, but in a critical fashion, arguing for a distinction between literature as a "tool" (alat) in the hands of the autonomous writer and literature as a "means to an end" (diperalat) at the service of someone else's cause. He argues that, when literature is employed as a tool and taken out of the hands of the author, that instrumentalization poses a danger to "the truth of creativity as a personal and intellectual necessity" (membahayakan hakikat penciptaan sebagai keharusan pribadi dan keharusan budi) (p. 230). Pramoedya's position on creativity and the inviolability of the writer's inner freedom is strikingly similar to Ding Ling's allegiance to her own "subjectivity," which was the cause of her downfall in 1958. It also resembles Jassin's position on the primacy of human agency in the construction of "isms," discussed above. 81 Mao Dun's "Remould Our Thought to Serve the Masses" (Chinese Literature 1, Spring 1953: 13-25) quotes Mao Zedong, who was the first to enunciate the idea in his "Talks at the Yan'an Conference on Literature and Art" (1942, published in 1943), to argue, like Ding Ling, that

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Near the end of her essay, Ding Ling touches on a subject that Pramoedya addressed in his December 1954 lecture and to which he returned several times in articles written after his visit to China in October 1956: that the economic well-being of the writer is a fundamental right and precondition for his/her ability to perform the job of being a creative artist. 82 It is not surprising, therefore, that Pramoedya selected Chapter II, "The Life and Organization of Soviet Writers" from George Reavey' s Soviet Literature To-Day for translation, the second work translated by Pramoedya to appear in the March 1956 issue of Indonesia. 83 Gorky's Mother must have been on his mind; his translation of the novel was probably intended for publication on a date as close as possible to planned celebrations for the twentieth anniversary of Gorky's death (June 18, 1936).84 Reavey wastes no time in drawing attention to the fact that Soviet writers have access to state-subsidized housing, including country dachas where "writers may retire and isolate themselves either for work or when recovering from illness" (dimana parapengarang boleh beristirahat atau writers should "penetrate deeply into the life and struggles of the masses" (p. 25). The same issue of Chinese Literature contains a complete English translation of Ding Ling's Stalin Prizewinning novel, Sun Shines over the Sangkan River, prefaced by a short sketch of the writer's life and her role as an "active fighter" in the revolutionary struggle. Pramoedya mentions Mao Dun in passing in "Literature as a Tool," along with Guo Moruo and Zhou Yang, who contributed essays to the second issue of Chinese Literature for 1953. That issue also contains an English translation of the modern Chinese opera play, The White-Haired Girl, which, along with Ding Ling's novel, won a Stalin Prize in 1951 and was translated into Indonesian by Pramoedya in 1958 as Dewi Uban. See Hong Liu's discussion of Pramoedya's encounter with Chinese writers and literary ideas in the mid-1950s, Hong Liu, "Pramoedya," pp. 124-25. 82 See Hong Liu, "Pramoedya," p. 130, on Pramoedya's observations about the economic security of contemporary Chinese writers. 83 George Reavey, Soviet Literature To-Day (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1947), pp. 30--44. Pramoedya's translation appears as: George Reavey, "Hidup dan organisasi pengarang Soviet," Indonesia VII, 3 (Maret 1956): 194-205. George Reavey (1907-76) was an Irish surrealist poet born in Russia, Samuel Beckett's first literary agent, and a prolific translator of twentiethcentury Russian poetry, including that of Mayakovsky, into English. I do not know whether Pramoedya read any of Reavey's literary translations. 84 Ads for Ibunda began appearing in the communist newspaper Harian Rakjat on March 27, 1956, with a feature article on Ibunda, including excerpts, published on April 7, where it is stated that the book would be available in a few weeks; see "Suatu Peristiwa Penting: Ibunda Gorki dalam Bahasa Indonesia" [Important Event: Gorky's Mother in Indonesian], Harian Rakjat, Sabtu (April 7, 1956): 3. There was considerable interest in Gorky in Indonesia at this time and a strong appreciation for the international stature of Russian writers generally. The indefatigable Boejoeng Saleh published a long essay on Gorky in 1954, accompanied by a three-page bibliography of Gorky's works in English, many of which were available for purchase from the leftist bookstore and publisher, Pembaruan (Reform), and in 1956 he produced an essay on Ibunda. See Boejoeng Saleh, "Tjatatan Singkat Pada Hariwafatnja Gorky Ke-18" [Notes on the Eighteenth Anniversary of Gorky's Death], Indonesia V, 7 (Djuli 1954): 368-78 and Boejoeng Saleh, "Ibu jang Abadi" [The Eternal Mother], Kisah IV, 7/8 (DjuliAgustus, 1956): 20-21, 28. The Musjawarat Kesusasteraan (literature discussion group) of Jogjakarta met on March 28, 1955, to discuss Gorky's life and work; see Budaya IV (1955): 245. Even the famous Islamic author Hamka read Gorky (in Arabic translation), as he noted in the published account of his trip to Egypt in 1950; see Hairus Salim, "Muslim Indonesia dan Jaringan Kebudayaan Tahun, 1950-1965" [Indonesian Muslims and Cultural Networks, 195065], to be published in a collection of essays edited by Maya Liem and Jennifer Lindsay, p. 7. A short article appearing in Siasat 514, April4, 1957, noted that, according to the UNESCO index of world translations for 1955, in fifty-five countries around the world, the most translated author was Tolstoy, followed by Shakespeare, Hans Christian Anderson, Maxim Gorky, Anton Chekhov, Honore de Balzac, and Jack London.

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memisahkan diri sendiri baik untuk bekerdja ataupun beristirahat sewaktu baru baik dari sakit). 85 Soviet writers are prospering, he says, largely due to the huge expansion in the number of readers after the war, so that an "edition of 100,000 to 500,000 is more like the norm for more popular books," compared to the 3,000 to 4,000 copies usually printed for literary works in Indonesia. 86 The standard serialization of novels in literary magazines and the Stalin Prize are also sources of income for the best authors. But, according to Reavey, Soviet writers were not just exemplary because of their economic well-being. Reavey quotes from the wartime diary of the woman poet, journalist, and translator Vera lnber, where she explains the difference between being an independent writer and one who belongs to the Communist Party: Formerly, it was like this: I would write, let us say, a successful thing [karja-karja jang menghasilkan sukses], and I was glad [dan aku merasa gembira]. Failure was bitter. But it was my personal sorrow and joy only [Tetapi hal itu adalah kesedihan dan kegembiraanku seorang diri sadja]. But now I think: in what measure is that which I 'Write useful for Soviet literature, which in its turn, appears only as a part of the great thing-the flourishing of my country [kesedjahteraan tanahairku], the first Socialist country in the world? Each literary work, if logically continued, must be transformed into action [Tiap karja sastera, bila diikuti setjara mantik, haruslah didjelmakan kedalam tindakan]. 87 Reavey discusses other matters in his chapter, such as Soviet writers' unions and organization, that were of interest to Pramoedya, but the passage I have just cited would have been the most resonant for him. The declarations of Ding Ling, the Chinese writer, and Vera Inber, the Soviet poet, both women, expressed the same socialist ideals that gradually form in the mind of the illiterate mother and hero of Gorky's novel, a character who would reappear in several guises in Pramoedya' s later writing. The three translations by Pramoedya that appeared in Indonesia in 1955-56 served as windows onto non-Indonesian worlds, both past and contemporary, in a way that brought them closer to home. Schiicking's history of the formation of literary taste in late nineteenth-century Germany offered Pramoedya a case study that he could develop into an historical parallel; in later years, he traced an entire history of realist literature in Indonesia stretching back to the last part of the nineteenth century, which would come to include his greatest work. Ding Ling's essay was a model of clear reasoning and an articulation of international socialist realist literary principles, but it also gave voice to a liberated female subjectivity, the ultimate symbol for Pramoedya of Indonesia's emerging national identity in the postcolonial world. Finally, Reavey's discourse on Russian writers and their Reavey, Soviet Literature, p. 31; Reavey, "Hidup," p. 195, s6 Reavey, Soviet Literature, p. 32. Pramoedya gives the Indonesian figures in a long article he published in February 1957, "Keadaan Social Parapengarang Indonesia" [The Social Situation of Indonesian Writers], Star Weekly, January 12, 1957, reprinted in Pramoedya, Menggclinding, p. 524, In another article published in Siasat a month later, Pramoedya cites the same figures from Reavey and adds further comparative material from France, Britain, Czechoslovakia, China, and Burma; see "Keadaan Sosial para Pengarang: Perbandingan Antarnegara" [The Social Situation of Writers: An International Comparison), Siasat 502, 20 (Februari 1957): 25-26. 87 Reavey, Soviet Literature, p. 34; Reavey, "Hidup," p. 197, Italics in English are in the original.

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dedication to and support from the Soviet state established a benchmark for how to improve the working conditions of Indonesian writers so that they could escape their current poverty of body and mind, better serve the building of the Indonesian nation, and join an "international" of world literature on an equal footing with fellow writers overseas. The three short translations we have been considering show us Pramoedya engaging with an "International" of realist writing from around the world, discovering parallels as well as differences with the situation of writers in Indonesia. The fact that these translations served to connect Indonesia to Europe, China, the Soviet Union, and to world history itself says something obvious but important about the global reach and coherence of the socialist realist "international." 88 Greatly facilitating the creation of socialist internationalism was the availability of both contemporary and classical writings from China and the Soviet Union in welldistributed, state-sponsored translations into English and many other languages. Nothing like this kind of organized literary outreach was carried out by the noncommunist bloc during the Cold War. 89 By comparison, the propagation and local reception of liberal "modernism" in Southeast Asia was more uneven and more problematic. For all their commitment to a fully Indonesia-centric, yet cosmopolitan, kind of modernity, a critic like Jassin and a writer like Asrul Sani found it difficult to transpose "modernism" from Western Europe to Indonesia, let alone to find in Western European modernism a reason for imagining what modernity and its literary representations might be like in Russia, China, or other parts of the Third World. Jassin and Asrul failed to explore the non-Western world as a possible source of ideas and literary styles relevant to their own situation, but also found it difficult to adapt modernist "world" (read: European) literature to the needs of a modern ss For an excellent study of the process through which, by means of translations and other forms of cultural exchange, China became part of the international socialist world after 1949, see Nicolai Volland, "Translating the Socialist State: Cultural Exchange, National Identity, and the Socialist World in the Early PRC," Twentieth-Century China 33, 2 (April 2008): 51-72. "The translation of a new breed of socialist literature," Volland writes, "became an especially important factor in this process: the simultaneous consumption in a dozen countries of Soviet popular novels, and of representative literary works produced everywhere in the socialist world, could make a direct impact on local audiences, reaching more people than all other forms of cultural exchange." Ibid., p. 70. 89 Hollywood movies could perhaps be regarded as the equivalent propaganda medium for the Western bloc, but their messages were varied and produced both positive and negative responses from Southeast Asian viewers-hardly a failsafe tool for achieving conversion to only one political ideology. This is not to say that film, as such, was or was perceived as being an ineffective means of spreading ideas to a mass audience. For a discussion of the issues and controversies regarding the showing of Hollywood films in Indonesia from the 1950s to the early 1960s, see Krishna Sen, Indonesian Cinema: Framing the New Order (London and Highlands, NJ: Zed Books Ltd., 1994), pp. 24-49. Mark Bradley writes: "Even before US firms began to send representatives to Vietnam [in 1945], American films, which had been among the most popular and substantial US exports to Vietnam before World War II, were showing again in movie houses in major Vietnamese cities. One contemporary observer estimated that US releases accounted for 70 percent of the films shown in Vietnam in the immediate post war period." Mark Philip Bradley, Imagining Vietnam aud America: The Making of Postcolonial Vietnam, 1919-1950 (Chapel Hill, NC, and London: The University of North Carolina Press, 2000), pp. 132-33. During the American War, Bradley notes elsewhere, "film was a particularly important means through which the [North Vietnamese] state imparted the meanings it accorded to the sacrifices of favoured social groups." Mark Philip Bradley, Vietnam at War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 133.

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Indonesian literature because of their natural nationalist resistance to colonialism and capitalism. Modernist literary texts were, in any case, scattered across many different languages and across different media, especially if one includes Western film-which was avidly viewed and discussed in Southeast Asia during the Cold War-as a major vehicle for modernism. And almost none of the books Casanova considers central to the modernist canon, such as the novels of James Joyce or William Faulkner or the plays of Henrik Ibsen, were translated into Indonesian or Vietnamese in this period. 90 In the case of leftist "international" texts, on the other hand, not only were many of the most important works available in languages Southeast Asian writers could read, but the themes that most concerned these writers-anti-imperialism, populism, nationalism, the difficulty of being oneself as part of the collective effort to build a communist state-were all present in such works, facilitating the translation of socialist realist ideas and aesthetic forms into Southeast Asian literary practices. MA YAKOVSKY IN HANOI

As in Indonesia, experimentation with literary forms that could express modern kinds of individuality and new kinds of national community, as well as vigorous debates that pitted advocates of "art for art's sake" (ngh? thw;it vj ngh? thu(it) against proponents of "art for life's sake" (ngh? thu(it vi nhiin sinh), were well underway in Vietnam by the mid-1930s. 91 Hue Tam Ho Tai, who has studied these debates, stresses the lack of congruence at that time between aesthetic allegiances and political ones, with the "leading defender of pure art, Hoai Thanh ... already leaning toward communism at the time of the debate." Hue Tam Ho Tai also establishes the According to Goenawan Mohamad, plays by Chekhov, Ibsen, and Strindberg were frequently performed in Indonesia in the 1950s and 1960s (Tempo 24, August 2-14, 1997; accessed online, January 5, 2010, at: www.tempo.co.id/ang/min/02/24/kolom2.htm); Coogle Books provides sample pages from an Indonesian translation of Ibsen's A Doll's House by Amir Sutaarga, first published in 1993, which is the only edition listed in the online catalog of the Indonesian National Library. A Vietnamese translation of the play did not appear until 1970; see n.a., 35 Nam Van HQc, 1948-1983 [Thirty-five Years of Literature, 1948-1983] (Hanoi: Nha Xua't Ban Van H9c, 1983), p. 252. I do not know whether these are the earliest translations of Ibsen's revolutionary play in Indonesia and Vietnam, or when and how frequently it has been performed in these countries, but there appears to be little comparison between its reception in either country and it's huge success in China, where Ibsen's heroine Nora was already a famous role model for aspiring Chinese modern individualists of both sexes at the time of the May 4 Movement of 1919. 91 See Neil Jamieson, Understanding Vietnam (Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA, and London: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 100-75; and Hue Tam Ho Tai, "Literature for the People: From Soviet Policies to Vietnamese Polemics," in Borrowings and Adaptations in Vietnamese Culture, ed. Truong Buu Lam (Honolulu, HI: Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, 1987), pp. 63-83. For a good discussion of the range (as limited as it was) and importance of translations of Western (almost entirely French) literary works into Vietnamese before 1945, see Tuan Ngoc Nguyen, "Socialist Realism in Vietnamese Literature: An Analysis of the Relationship between Literature and Politics" (PhD dissertation, Victoria University, 2004), pp. 35-53. Vietnamese writers were introduced to Soviet socialist realism through French translations in the 1930s. The first Soviet literary work translated into Vietnamese was part of Gorky's My Childhood, which appeared in 1936; the first of four different translations of Gorky's Mother was published in 1938; see "Socialist Realism in Vietnamese Literature," pp. 72-84. Nguyen's dissertation is available online at: http: I I eprints.vu.edu.aul279 I.

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international, world-literary orientation and content of the debates. Vietnamese intellectuals, who gained full access to newspapers in French when censorship was lifted in 1935, invoked "foreign critics and writers to support their particular views on the relationship between art and politics." 92 In the 1940s, particularly after the August Revolution of 1945 and the commencement of fighting against the French in December 1946, the fervor of commitment to revolution and the collective struggle for national independence caused a radical shift in perspectives on literature. According to Tuan Ngoc Nguyen, "Bfch Khe, who had translated Andre Gide's Return from Russia 93 a few years earlier, suffered severe illness when the Revolution erupted. He asked his family to carry him down to the street so that he could witness the boiling scenery of revolu tion." 94 In a famous essay that renounces the past, "V 6 d~" (Without title), published in 1945, the writer Nguy~n Tuan called his former habits and ideas "disconcerted old friends" and demanded of himself and his readers: "Kill, kill all of them. When any old friend appears and demands anything in your present soul, you must kill him immediately. You must destroy your old soul first. You must become a fire which burns all landscapes of your soul." 95 Trub'ng Chinh ("Long March," real name D~ng Xuan Khu, 1907-88), who was appointed head of the Department of Propaganda and Training in 1941, as well as general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam from 1941 to 1956/6 wrote a Hue Tam Ho Tai, "Literature for the People," p. 64. Tai points out that Vietnamese writers relied mainly on French sources and accounts of the Soviet literary debates of the 1930s, even though some of them had attended the Workers' University of the East in Moscow: "The French critics who wrote for /'Humanite or Monde were ... more than transmitters, albeit selective, of a received line; they adapted it and even advanced their own interpretation of what was politically committed and proletarian literature" (p. 65). As in the case of the transmission of socialist realist literary concepts to Pramoedya, we are dealing here with a relay of translators, "post-horses of civilization," reinterpreting and transmitting, from one to the next, modern ideas to Southeast Asia. Under the leadership of the well-known writer and communist Henri Barbusse (1873-1935), who became literary editor of l'Humanite in 1926 and editor-in-chief of the literary journal Monde in 1928, French leftist critics embraced flexible understandings of the definitions of "proletarian literature" and "socialist realism" emanating from the Soviet Union, which, as articulated by critics like Bukharin, were not uniformly or rigidly intolerant of multiple critical positions. For a sampling of the lively debate and range of critical views advanced at the first All-Union Congress of Soviet Writers in August 1934, chaired by Maxim Gorky and attended by some forty foreign authors, including Andre Malraux and Louis Aragon, see A. Zhdanov et al., Problems of Soviet Literature: Reports and Speeches at the First Soviet Writers' Congress (New York, NY: International Publishers, 1934), a book that Lu Xun translated into Chinese before his death in 1936. See Bonnie S. McDougall, Mao Zedong's "Talks at the Yan 'an Conference on Literature and Art": A Translation of the 1943 Text with Commentary (Ann Arbor, Ml: Center for Chinese Studies, The University of Michigan, 1980). p. 48. The most admired leftist French writer in Vietnam at the time was Andre Gide (1869-1951). The objections he voiced to the subordination of art to politics, coupled with his disenchantment with the Soviet Union after his trip there from June to August 1936, during which time he was invited to give the eulogy at Gorky's funeral, were particularly influential in literary debates in Vietnam. See Tai, "Literature for the People," pp. 65-77.

92

This was the book Gide published in 1936, two months after his return from the Soviet Union in which he voiced his criticisms of Stalin and the Revolution (Tai, "Literature for the People," p. 77). 94 Nguyen, "Socialist Realism," p. 129.

93

Discussed and quoted in ibid., p. 133. See Nguyen's fascinating and detailed discussion of the transformative effect on writers of the August Revolution and the war against the French from 1945 to 1948 in ibid., pp. 125-52. 96 For a succinct biography of Trttb'ng Chinh, see ibid., pp. 153-54. 95

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poem in 1942 that parodied a famous work of poetic romanticism by Xuan Dieu, declaring: 0 poets, all spring to your feet, stand up! The time of wine and roses is past. No longer moan with winds and weep with cloudsalong the road of progress take brisk steps. Make poems, and with poems shed cold light on social sores that fester everywhere. 97 In his important report Marxism and Vietnamese Culture, 98 delivered to the Second National Conference on Culture held in Viet Bik July 16-20, 1948, Truerng Chinh enunciated Maoist cultural doctrines, 99 and foreshadowed Lekra polemicists, in claiming that there was no such thing as "neutral culture" or "absolute freedom": "only when the nation is liberated will it experience the condition for complete liberation." 100 More than seems to have been the case for writers on the Left in Indonesia, many Vietnamese artists who were also committed to the communist cause wanted the freedom to explore their own "painful process of transformation of the self." 101 "I unsystematically record the often aching doubts of a shedding of the skin, the old body falling without fully separating, the newly grown young skin not yet strengthened, bleeding at the slightest touch," wrote the poet Nguy~n Dlnh Thi in 1947. 102 Literary practices that involved this kind of intertwining of self and literary form were bound to clash with the no-nonsense Party approach to literary production as stated by Truerng Chinh in his 1948 report: "1. Find the topic; 2. Assess the audience; 3. Gather the means to carry out the task; 4. From the masses evaluate the creation." 1m The four-day conference organized by the Party in September 1949 to Kim N. B. Ninh, A World Transformed: The Politics of Culture in Revolutionary Vietnam, 19451965 (Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press, 2002), p. 37. The translation of the excerpt from Tnt(Yng Chinh's "To be a poet" is from An Anthology of Vietnamese Poems: From the Eleventh through the Twentieth Centuries, ed. and trans. Huynh Sanh Thong (New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 1996), p. 304. A translation of Xufm Di~u's "Feelings and Emotions" can be found in An Anthology of Vietnamese Poems, pp. 297-98. In 1946, Xuan Di~u himself renounced French literature, declaring: "French poetry no longer has great and genuine poets who might water humanity's soul." Quoted in Nguyen, "Socialist Realism," p. 134. 9R The full text of Marxism and Vietnamese Culture in English can be found in Truong-Chinh, Selected Writings (Hanoi: The Gioi Publishers, 1994), pp. 203-78. 99 Truerng Chinh's ideological orientation is suggested by his pen name "Long March," which refers to the famous retreat of the Chinese Red Army in 1934-36 that led to the ascendancy of Mao Zedong and the eventual triumph of the communists in 1949. 10°Kim N. B. Ninh, A World Transformed, p. 40. 101 Ibid., p. 69. For an essay on the events leading up to the signing of the anti-leftist "Cultural Manifesto" in Indonesia in 1963, with some comments about the sorts of literary themes favored bv the Left, see Goenawan Mohamad, "The 'Cultural Manifesto' Affair: Literature and Politics i~ Indonesia in the 1960s, a Signatory's View," Working Paper No. 45 (Clayton: The Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University). 102 Ninh, A World Transformed, p. 69. 103 Quoted in ibid., p. 79. In his report, Trub'ng Chinh also asserted the subordination of the artist to the dictates of the Party, implying that "intellectuals could not take refuge in the excuses of lack of time or means" (ibid.). Recall Jassin's impatience with Indonesian writers for complaining about their poor working conditions, an abiding concern of Pramoedya's. Hong

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debate literature and the arts on the eve of the fall-winter 1949 military campaign placed a strong emphasis on producing art for the "people" (nhan dan), who were now being defined in terms of their "class" rather than their "national" characteristics (i.e., as dan t(lc). 104 Much discussion also focused on literary form, on the relationship between form and content, and on whether or not certain genres, like the tuy but essay and non-rhyming poetry, gave too much expression to a subjectivity that posed a threat to the still weak and emergent state. 105 Referring to Nguy~n Dlnh Thi, the poet whose free verse was the main topic of the debate about literary form, foremost socialist realist poet To Hfru (1920-2002), 106 who emerged at the conference as the leading Party authority on literary matters, enunciated the view on poetry and subjectivity that became Party dogma in the 1950s: When I am sad and fretful, tired or wistful, I like reading [Thi's] poetry. Poetry is the melody of the soul, and similar spirits find their mates. But when I need to work, I very much hate Thi's poetry because I hate the return of the self to me. Then I would warn myself. Often I see that a poem is good, but I am not sure that it is good. Then what can we use as criteria for good poetry? I cannot use the "I" as a criteria [sic]. The artist must ask himself: How do the masses view this poem? Are they moved by it? Is the pain of the masses being represented here? Liu explains that Pramoedya was invited to visit China in 1956 precisely because of his "frustration and aimlessness," to quote from a Chinese commentary on the invitation, as a "petit bourgeois Centrist Writer" who was "dissatisfied with realities, corruption, and weakness of the capitalist regime, and ... wanted the status quo changed." Hong Liu, "Pramoedya," p. 126. The Chinese expectation was that such visitors, if they belonged to this class of writer, would be impressed by what they saw and write with praise about their experiences when they returned home (ibid., p. 127). 104 For a detailed analysis of this important conference, see Ninh, A World Transformed, pp. 88102. Ninh succinctly states the purpose of the conference: " ... the time had come to tighten control over intellectuals and their activities[,] not only to rein in discussions that might get out of hand but to make sure that the tools were available to inspire the people to the level of sacrifice necessary for the resistance" (ibid., p. 89). As was the case in 1950s Indonesia, there was much discussion at the 1949 conference of the need for urban writers to return to the village and live with the masses. Ninh makes an observation that might also apply to Westerneducated Indonesian writers like Asrul Sani who worried about this issue: "While it was true that many Vietnamese did manage to travel overseas or obtain some kind of education abroad in the 1930s, the bulk of Vietnamese intellectuals were schooled within the Franco-Vietnamese educational system. This system provided them with access to French literature and culture, but it could not obscure the village connections that played a dominant role in their development. Many Vietnamese intellectuals became disconnected from the countryside but never to the same degree that some intellectuals would posit and the Party would insist" (ibid., p. 92). 105 Ibid., pp. 93-98. Ninh also points out that by 1955 there were seventeen private publishing firms in Hanoi that competed aggressively with state-run publishers. "If the authorities were troubled by the development," she writes, "the state was still in the process of being formed and was ill-equipped to deal with the rapid growth in private publishing. The Ministry of Culture, for example, was not founded until February 1955." Ibid., p. 142. 106 For more on T6 Hfru, his work, and his role in the 1949 conference, see Nguyen, "Socialist Realism," pp. 165-72.

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Tony Day If the work has not spoken or speaks in the opposite direction about the life of the masses, then we must consider it a bad work. 107

As the struggle to build not just a new nation, but a strong state based on a classbased social order and artistic forms that the masses could understand, intensified in the North during the early 1950s, many writers found that, in the words of the painter To NgQc Van, they had two selves, one that "serves the nation and the masses" and one "that serves art." 108 The two selves collided in widespread conflict in intellectual circles in the North during the crisis years of land reform. The nature of the conflict is illustrated best in the controversy that erupted in literary journals and newspapers over the writing and opinions of a young army writer and painter named Triln Diln (1926-97). 109 Triln Diln began his literary career in 1946 as a poet interested in folk traditions. Joining the Party in 1948, he was one of the first cadres to be trained in Chinese rectification (i.e., forced public recantation) techniques that were introduced into Vietnam in 1951 to bring intellectuals into line with official programs and viewsY 0 His experiences in the decisive Vietnamese victory over the French at Di~n Bien Phil led to the writing of a novel, one of the earliest fictional accounts of that famous battle and a huge success with the public. What distinguished Triln Diln's novel from the many other accounts of the war was his attempt to represent soldiers and their subjective experiences in all their complexity, rather than resort to the prescribed formulas of what, according to one of his friends and later defenders, Triln Diln called "smoke-and-fire literature," war novels full of guns, loud noise, exemplary heroes, but no people. 111 Triln Diln was sent to China between October 10 and Quoted and translated from an account of the 1949 conference published in that same year in ibid., p. 98. 108 Ibid., p. 82. 109 Ibid., pp. 121-63; and Georges Boudarel, Cent Fleurs Ecloses dans Ia Nuit du Vietnam: Communisme et Dissidence 1954-1956 [A Hundred Blooming Flowers in the Night of Vietnam: Communism and Dissidence 1954-1956] (Paris: Jacques Bertoin, 1991). 110 Rectification was not the only revolutionary Chinese concept that gained currency in Vietnam starting in 1950. Mao's "Talks at the Yan'an Conference on Literahtre and Art" were translated into Vietnamese in 1949; the essay collection by Zhou Yang from which Pramoedya made a translation in 1954 appeared in Vietnamese as Van Ngh¢ Nhan Dan M6'i [The People's New Literature and Art], also in 1954. For more on revolutionary Chinese literary and ideological influence on Vietnam in the 1950s, see Nguyen, "Socialist Realism," pp. 173-83. 111 Quoted in Ninh, A World Transformed, p. 128, from Hoang Cam's biographical account of Tr'an Diin, published in the September 20, 1956 issue of Nhiin Van (Humanism), one of two literary journals started by dissidents in 1955. For a partial English translation of Hoang C'am's biography, see Hoa Mai, ed., The "Nhan-Van" Affair (n.p.: The Vietnam Chapter of the Asian Peoples' Anti-Communist League, n.d.), pp. 43-51. The complete biography in French translation appears in Boudarel, Cent Fleurs, pp. 26-46. In a diary entry written shortly before his trip to China in October 1954, Tr'an D'an said the following about the characters in his novel: "I want to describe soldiers who are very old and those who are very young; poor peasants and sons of landlords; sons of bourgeois and workers, shldents and illiterate men. [ ... ] The heroes and the cowards. Those who arrived cowards but became heroes. Those who arrived heroes but became cowards. Those who used guns to fire at the enemy, and those who used guns to harm themselves. The quiet soldiers and the talkative soldiers. The gentle people and the reckless people. The docile people and the stubborn people. And most of them are reluctant to study (politics), to listen to the cadre talking over politics. Being reluctant to listen to cadres talking a lot. Being reluctant to see their thoughts controlled. Control, control my cock!" Quoted and translated in Nguyen, "Socialist Realism," p. 26. 107

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November 12, 1954, to work on the narrative script for a film about the battle of Di~n Bien Phu, just at the time that a well-known Chinese literary critic and CCP (Chinese Communist Party) member, Hu Feng, openly challenged the authority of the CPP to dictate how literature should be written. 112 On his return to Vietnam, Tri'!n D'an became the spokesman for a group of army writers who demanded creative freedom and an outspoken critic of writers who conformed to Party dictates. 113 Disciplined by the army and confined to quarters for three months after he asked to resign from both the army and the Party in May 1955, Tr'an Di'!n responded by writing a poem, "Nha't dinh th~ng" (We must win), in which he mused: Toi & pho Sinh Tu Nhfrng ngay fiy bao nhieu thuO'ng x6t Toi bu&c di kh6ng thfiy pho khOng tha'y nha Chi tha'y mua sa tren mau ci.J do G~p em trong mua Em di tlm vi~c M6i ngay di l~i cui d'au v~ - Anh ~! · Ho v~n bao chi.J ... Toi khOng g~ng hOi, n6i gl u? Tri.Ji mua, tri.Ji mua Ba thang r6i Em dQ'i S6ng biing tuO'ng lai Ngay va dem nhu hi tre m6 coi Lii luQ't d~t nhau di bu6n ba Emdi trong mua According to Kirk Denton, in the 1930s Hu Feng had been a close associate of China's greatest writer, Lu Xun, and a noted literary critic who advocated "subjectivism" (zhuguan zhuyi), the "dynamic role for the subject in social transformation." See Kirk A. Denton, "The Hu Feng Group: The Genealogy of a Literary School," paper prepared for Urban Cultural Institutions of Early Twentieth Century China Symposium, The Ohio State University, April 13, 2002; accessible online at: http:/ /mclc.osu.edu/rc/pubs/institutions/denton.htm (accessed January 5, 2010). For another good discussion of Hu Feng and the official Party campaign to brand him as a counterrevolutionary in 1955, see Merle Goldman, Literary Dissent in Communist China (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1967), pp. 129-57. Hu Feng's thinking on the crucial role of the writer's subjectivity in its engagement with reality during the creative act dates back to the 1930s, when he dueled with Zhou Yang over the question of realism and character types. For Zhou Yang's essay "Thoughts on Realism," published in 1936, and Hu Feng's response, "Realism: A 'Correction,"' see Kirk A. Denton, ed., Modem Chinese Literary Thought: Writings 011 Literature 1893-1945 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996), pp. 335-55.

112

113 For a good discussion of the shifting relations between writers and the Vietnamese Workers' Party, and the intellectual and ideological issues involved, in 1956---58, see Hirohidc Kurihara, "Changes in the Literary Policy of the Vietnamese Workers' Party, 1956-1958," in Indochina in the 1940s and 1950s, ed. Takashi Shiraishi and Motoo Furuta (Ithaca, NY: Cornell Southeast Asia Program Publications, 1992), pp. 165-96.

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Tony Day cui d'au nghieng vai NguO'i con gai m&i muO'i chin tu6i Kh6 than em mua niing di v~ lui thui Bong chung de len s6ph?n rung nguO'i Em cui d'au di mua ro'i Nhung ngay ay bao nhieu thucmg x6t Toi bu&c di khong thay ph6 kh6ng thdy nha Chi thdy mua sa tren mau cO' do. Dat nu&c kh6 khan nay sao khong tham du